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AN EVALUATION OF SRTM, ASTER, AND CONTOUR BASED DEMS IN THE CARIBBEAN REGION

Peter G. Chirico

Abstract:

There are numerous sources of digital elevation models (DEMs) available for geographic information system (GIS) applications and natural hazard studies. Each source of DEM data is subject to inaccuracies based on the data source, its resolution, and characteristics of the terrain. This study evaluates DEMs derived from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite, and topographic contours for the island of Grenada in the southeastern Caribbean. Statistical measures of accuracy, developed through a comparison to high-resolution control points, demonstrate the vertical accuracy of the three sources of DEMs for the study area. The effect of terrain and vegetation on the accuracy of SRTM, ASTER, and contour-based DEMs is further demonstrated through an analysis of elevation, slope, and surface curvature measurements. Finally, selection of appropriate DEM data for natural hazard mapping, landform studies, and GIS applications in the Caribbean region is discussed.

Reference Information:

Chirico, P.G. 2004. An Evaluation of SRTM, ASTER, and Contour Based DEMs in the Caribbean Region, in URISA 2004 Caribbean GIS Conference, September 13-17, Barbados: Sherbourne Conference Centre, [Proceedings]:209-219.

Chirico_urisa2004 - An Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version of the full publication is is available for download. File size (606 KB)

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Urisa2004 - Also available is an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version of a Powerpoint presentation delivered by Pete Chirico at the 2004 URISA Conference. File Size (1.91 MB).

 
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