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Entropy 2015, 17(10), 7021-7051; doi:10.3390/e17107021

Method for Measuring the Information Content of Terrain from Digital Elevation Models

1,2,* , 1,†
,
2,†
and
3,†
1
School of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Research Centre of Government Geographic Information System, Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, Beijing 100830, China
3
School of Computer Science and Technology, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raúl Alcaraz Martínez
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 12 September 2015 / Accepted: 12 October 2015 / Published: 16 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Information Theory)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3356 KB, uploaded 16 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

As digital terrain models are indispensable for visualizing and modeling geographic processes, terrain information content is useful for terrain generalization and representation. For terrain generalization, if the terrain information is considered, the generalized terrain may be of higher fidelity. In other words, the richer the terrain information at the terrain surface, the smaller the degree of terrain simplification. Terrain information content is also important for evaluating the quality of the rendered terrain, e.g., the rendered web terrain tile service in Google Maps (Google Inc., Mountain View, CA, USA). However, a unified definition and measures for terrain information content have not been established. Therefore, in this paper, a definition and measures for terrain information content from Digital Elevation Model (DEM, i.e., a digital model or 3D representation of a terrain’s surface) data are proposed and are based on the theory of map information content, remote sensing image information content and other geospatial information content. The information entropy was taken as the information measuring method for the terrain information content. Two experiments were carried out to verify the measurement methods of the terrain information content. One is the analysis of terrain information content in different geomorphic types, and the results showed that the more complex the geomorphic type, the richer the terrain information content. The other is the analysis of terrain information content with different resolutions, and the results showed that the finer the resolution, the richer the terrain information. Both experiments verified the reliability of the measurements of the terrain information content proposed in this paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: terrain; information content; digital elevation models terrain; information content; digital elevation models
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hu, L.; He, Z.; Liu, J.; Zheng, C. Method for Measuring the Information Content of Terrain from Digital Elevation Models. Entropy 2015, 17, 7021-7051.

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