Digital elevation model (DEM) generation and accuracy assessment from ASTER stereo data

Süzen, Mehmet Lütfi
Digital elevation models (DEM) are the indispensable quantitative environmental variable in most of the research studies in remote sensing. The improvement of sensor and satellite imaging technologies enabled the researchers to generate DEM using remotely sensed data. These data can be started to use as not only the two-dimensional (2-D) but also three-dimensional (3-D) information sources with usage of the DEM. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is one of the sensor systems capable of DEM generation and during the study, ASTER level 1A (L1A) data were used. Due to presence of many geological features and different landcover types, the test site is selected as the watershed of Asarsuyu River, located in north-western Anatolia in between Duzce and Bolu plains. The aim of this study is to check the best effort of 15 in spatial resolution DEM generation from ASTER L1A data by collecting different numbers of ground control points (GCP) (30, 45, and 60) and tie points (TP). During the study, three different techniques-spatial correlation, image differencing and profiling were used for both planimetric and vertical accuracy assessment. The obtained results from both of the techniques show that the accuracy of the DEM increases by increasing the number of GCP. However, there is an only slight difference between the result of 45 GCPs and 60 GCPs.