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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of Users and Uses of DEMs in Spain

Departamento de Ingeniería Cartográfica, Geodésica y Fotogrametría, Universidad de Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Departamento de Ingeniería Geográfica, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28031 Madrid, Spain
School of Surveying and Mapping Engineering, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing 100044, China
Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica, Instituto Geográfico Nacional, 28003 Madrid, Spain
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(12), 406;
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
PDF [5795 KB, uploaded 20 December 2017]


We have carried out a characterization of users and uses of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), in order to be able to study an adaptation of the most appropriate DEM. In the previous literature, there have not been many similar studies of this subject. We used information about DEMs downloaded from a Download Center of a National Mapping Service (in this case the Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica, CNIG, of Spain). This service offers three DEM products with different spatial resolutions (DEM05, DEM25 and DEM200). We employed a total of 12,493 records from an online survey. The completion of the survey was mandatory at the time of the download (year 2014). We determined the geographical location of downloads, the profile of users, the use of the DEMs and the user assessment. We identified 6087 different users, most with a profile of private professionals (71%) and related educational activities (18%). Most of the users performed only one download. The major uses are those related to teaching-research and professional activities. Uses related to leisure, sport and tourism were 9.5% of all cases. The valuation performed by users of the utility of the products was very high, but not particularly in relation to updating needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: DEM; use; user DEM; use; user

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Mesa-Mingorance, J.L.; Chicaiza, E.G.; Buenaño, X.; Cai, J.; Rodríguez-Pascual, A.F.; Ariza-López, F.J. Analysis of Users and Uses of DEMs in Spain. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 406.

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