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 An Oblique View of Terrain Mapping
Ryan Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton majored in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado and has been employed within both the LiDAR and IFSAR mapping worlds since 1998. His interests (that all appear to be tied to mapping) include blue water sailing, backcountry skiing and big mountain and downhill mountain … More »

Ski Boots & Data

September 4th, 2013 by Ryan Hamilton

Ski racers demand super stiff boots in order to push through fast turns. Unfortunately, misinformed ski boot shoppers believe that because fast racers use stiff boot those same boots will help them achieve higher speed. In fact the opposite is true, the stiff boots put the amateur skier in an inappropriate position for their abilities and they are unable to exhibit the force into the boots required to make them work. Instead of going faster, our poor skier ends up off balance and out of control with a significantly lighter wallet.

Consumer desire for increased DEM resolution is akin to buying ski boots. I often hear “I need the highest resolution data available for this area.” Sometimes this statement proves to be a true requirement but often when asked what the DEM data will be used for the actual DEM requirements for the application don’t warrant ‘high’ res terrain data. So the consumer ends up with a high cost for storage and processing of a heavy dataset that is overkill for their project. Just like the weekend warrior on race boots, using a data resolution higher than you need will slow you down and cost you money.

As a data consumer it is critical that you define what resolution of data will be sufficient for your project and try to locate a dataset that fits this need. In the US and Europe, an abundance of available terrain data can make narrowing your choices a daunting task. Fortunately, there are companies dedicated to DTM selection specific to a consumers need. These data vendors sell third party datasets and work with the customer to understand how the data will be used and what data available over their AOI will best fit their requirements. Three examples of such data resellers are Mapmart in the USA, Geocontent in Germany and Getmapping in the UK. With the assistance of data experts like these you can be assured you will get the proper data resolution to meet your project and budget needs.

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Category: Oblique view of terrain data

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