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Terrain Analysis

Terrain analysis uses elevation data, especially digital elevation models (DEMs), to characterize the bare terrain surface and, in most cases, link terrain properties to the natural or built environment. Closely associated with spatial analysis, terrain analysis is a fundamental component of geographic information science and provides solid support for a wide variety of GIS modeling and analysis activities. Terrain analysis is built upon terrain surface characterization, as well as the easy accessibility and high quality of terrain data.

Digital Terrain Data

Terrain data most commonly take the raster format (i.e., DEMs), which records elevation on a cell-by-cell basis for each cell, but irregular sampling points, contour lines, and triangulated irregular networks (TIN) are also common elevation data formats. DEMs may be produced from one or multiple data ...

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