A CDE Definition
Deriving digital models of an area on the earth. Using special cameras from airplanes or satellites, either the sun's reflections or the earth's temperature is turned into digital maps of the area. In order to view the results, the data must be rendered by specialized image processing software. See digital elevation model.
digital elevation model
A digital map of the elevation of an area on the earth. The data are either collected by a private party or purchased from an organization such as the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that has already undertaken the exploration of the area. Digital elevation models are gray scale images wherein the pixel values are actually elevation numbers. The pixels are also coordinated to world space (longitude and latitude), and each pixel represents some variable amount of that space (foot, meter, mile, etc.) depending on the purpose of the model and land area involved. See remote sensing and GIS glossary.
Sample Digital Elevation Model Rendering
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