Terrain Mapping

Terrain mapping helps with site planning, creating contour maps, picking the best location for recreational facilities, or helping with trail routing.

Terrain Mapping Explained

contours created by drone mapping

Terrain mapping focuses on the physical features of the land, such as mountains, valleys, and rivers. Identifying these features, which are crucial for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and rock climbing. is essential for recreation planning. Terrain maps can also be used to identify areas that are at the highest risk for damage during natural disasters such as floods and wildfires.

Terrain maps can be created using either lidar or photogrammetry. Outputs can include DSM (digital surface models) which include both natural and man-made features or DTM (digital terrain models) which typically only include the ‘bare earth’. From these models contour maps can also be produced. A big benefit is taking these outputs into other third party software, such as GIS.

Common Applications

  • Planning recreational facilities such as playgrounds, bike parks or trail networks
  • Creating contour maps for areas where no online data can be found, or where accuracy needs to be improved
  • Planning urban revitalization projects where the exact topography of the site must be known
digital surface models from drone survey - site analysis

Digital Surface Models

Digital surface models show the ground surface, vegetation, and man-made objects. These are useful for project visualization and accurate site analysis measurements.

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