Title page for ETD etd-07052001-112527

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gagné, Marissa Marlene
URN etd-07052001-112527
Title An Analysis and Critique of DEM Creaion and 3-D Modeling Using Airborne LIDAR and Photogrammetric Techniques
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dymond, Randel L. Committee Chair
Kriz, Ronald D. Committee Member
Pethtel, Ray D. Committee Member
  • Visualization
  • 3D Modeling
  • Photogrammetry
  • DEM
  • DTM
Date of Defense 2001-06-22
Availability restricted
Three-dimensional (3D) visualization is rapidly becoming an important tool for many engineering projects. Accurate digital representations of terrain and ground features are extremely useful for efficient design, communication and data representation in projects involving land development, transportation planning, hydrologic analysis, environmental impact studies, and much more. Within the scope of terrain modeling lie a wide variety of techniques used to build digital elevation models (DEMs). Each approach has inherent problems and difficulties that can alter the accuracy and usability of the DEM produced.

The main objectives of this study are to examine the various methods used for the creation of digital elevation models and make recommendations as to the appropriate techniques to use depending on specific project circumstances. Data sets generated using two of the methods, photogrammetry and LIDAR, are used to build digital terrain models in various software packages for an analysis of data usability and function.

The key results of this research project are two DEMs of a real-world transportation study area and a set of conclusions and recommendations that give insight into the exact methods to be used on various projects. The paper ends with two short appendices, the first of which discusses several software packages and their effectiveness in DEM creation and 3-D modeling. The final appendix is a flow chart summarizing the recommendations for the seven DEM creation methods.

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