Evaluation of ASTER GDEM using GPS benchmarks and SRTM in China

Li, P., Shi, C., Li, Z., Muller, J.-P., Drummond, J., Li, X., Li, T., Li, Y. and Liu, J. (2013) Evaluation of ASTER GDEM using GPS benchmarks and SRTM in China. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 34(5), pp. 1744-1771. (doi: 10.1080/01431161.2012.726752)

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The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) has generated one of the most complete high-resolution digital topographic data sets of the world to date. The ASTER GDEM covers land surfaces between 83° N and 83° S at a spatial resolution of 1 arc-second (approximately 30 m at the equator). As an improvement over Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) coverage, the ASTER GDEM will be a very useful product for many applications, such as relief analysis, hydrological studies, and radar interferometry. In this article, its absolute vertical accuracy in China was assessed at five study sites using ground control points (GCPs) from high-accuracy GPS benchmarks and also using a DEM-to-DEM comparison with the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI) SRTM DEM Version 4.1. It is demonstrated that the vertical accuracy of ASTER GDEM is 26 m (root mean square error (RMSE)) against GPS-GCPs, while for the SRTM DEM it is 23 m. Furthermore, height differences in the GDEM-SRTM comparison appear to be overestimated in the areas with a south or southwest aspect in the five study areas. To a certain extent, the error can be attributed to variations in heights due to land-cover effects and undefined inland waterbodies. But the ASTER GDEM needs further error-mitigating improvements to meet the expected accuracy specification. However, as for its unprecedented detail, it is believed that the ASTER GDEM offers a major alternative in accessibility to high-quality elevation data.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:ASTER GDEM, DEM, Validation, GPS
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Li, Dr Zhenhong and Drummond, Dr Jane
Authors: Li, P., Shi, C., Li, Z., Muller, J.-P., Drummond, J., Li, X., Li, T., Li, Y., and Liu, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Journal Name:International Journal of Remote Sensing
ISSN (Online):1366-5901
Published Online:02 November 2012

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
513031GAS: Generic Atmosphere Solutions for radar measurementsZhenhong LiNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/H001085/1SCHOOL OF GEOGRAPHICAL & EARTH SCIENCES