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Accuracy Enhancement of ASTER Global Digital Elevation Models Using ICESat Data

Remote Sensing Technology Institute, German Aerospace Center (DLR), D-82234 Wessling, Germany
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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(7), 1323-1343; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs3071323
Received: 28 April 2011 / Revised: 27 June 2011 / Accepted: 27 June 2011 / Published: 1 July 2011
Global Digital Elevation Models (GDEM) are considered very attractive for current research and application areas due to their free and wide range accessibility. The ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model exhibits the highest spatial resolution data of all global DEMs and it is generated for almost the whole globe. Unfortunately, ASTERGDEM data include many artifacts and height errors that decrease the quality and elevation accuracy significantly. This study provides a method for quality improvement of the ASTER GDEM data by correcting systematic height errors using ICESat laser altimetry data and removing artifacts and anomalies based on a segment-based outlier detection and elimination algorithm. Additionally, elevation errors within water bodies are corrected using a water mask produced from a high-resolution shoreline data set. Results indicate that the accuracy of the corrected ASTER GDEM is significantly improved and most artifacts are appropriately eliminated. Nevertheless, artifacts containing lower height values with respect to the neighboring ground pixels are not entirely eliminated due to confusion with some real non-terrain 3D objects. The proposed method is particularly useful for areas where other high quality DEMs such as SRTM are not available. View Full-Text
Keywords: Digital Elevation Models (DEM); ASTER; geodesic image reconstruction; outlier removal; water mask; enhancement Digital Elevation Models (DEM); ASTER; geodesic image reconstruction; outlier removal; water mask; enhancement
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Arefi, H.; Reinartz, P. Accuracy Enhancement of ASTER Global Digital Elevation Models Using ICESat Data. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 1323-1343.

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