High Above Down Under: Database Offers 3D Elevation Model of the Globe

October 1, 2015  - By

(WorldDEM image courtesy of Airbus Space & Defence)

Wilpena Pound, shown above, is a natural amphitheater of mountains in the heart of Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia. Wilpena Pound is 17 kilometers long and 8 kilometers wide, covering an area of 100 kilometers. The highest peak is St. Mary Peak, at 1,170 meters.

The WorldDEM Digital Elevation Model of the Pound is based on data acquired by the German high-resolution radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X, which started synchronous data acquisition in December 2010 and completed coverage of the Earth’s entire landmass twice over in mid-2013. The satellites covered more complex terrain areas with a third and fourth acquisition campaign to ensure accuracy for the WorldDEM mapping database, a 3D global pole-to-pole digital elevation model distributed by Airbus Defence and Space.

Since its commercial launch in April 2014, WorldDEM has provided high-precision elevation models to a wide variety of industries. Mining studies in equatorial regions use it to analyze dense vegetation. It’s used for infrastructure corridor design and costing. Military and civil aviation use it for low-altitude flight path and landing-area planning for helicopters and aircraft in remote and difficult to access areas.

The database now covers large parts of North and South America, Western and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Northern Europe and Asia. The most recent additions include complete coverage of Scandinavia, Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, Angola and Saudi Arabia. In all, 80 million km² of WorldDEM data has been captured.

Check what areas are available.