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Digital Elevation Models (DEM)


Accurate topography of the landscape used in architectural visualizations or natural history projects can be achieved through Digital Elevation Models (DEM). A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a digital representation of ground surface topography or terrain. It is also widely known as a digital terrain model (DTM).

DEM can be represented as a raster (a grid of squares, also known as a height map when representing elevation) or as a triangular irregular network. DEMs are commonly built using remote sensing techniques, but they may also be built from land surveying. DEMs are used often in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and are the most common basis for digitally-produced relief maps.

Combing Digital Elevation Models maps with 3D graphic software and populating the landscape with trees, bushes or even grasses gives the effect of a very close approximation to the terrain of the period.