Rock formations are among the most spectacular landscape features both for experts and the public. However, information about these objects is often stored inaccurately in existing spatial databases, their corresponding elevations are missing, or the entire rock object is completely absent. Cartographic depiction is also reduced to a point of areal symbology of a largely generalized character. This paper discusses options in identifying and analyzing rock formations from two digital terrain models (DTMs), DMR 5G and DMR 5G+, and irregularly spaced points of airborne laser-scanning (ALS) data with different point densities. A semi-automatic method allowing rock formations to be identified from DTMs is introduced at the beginning of the paper. A method to evaluate elevation models (volume differences) is subsequently applied and a 3D model of a selected rock object is created from terrestrial laser-scanning data. Finally, positional and volumetric comparisons of that 3D object are performed in 2D, 2.5D, and 3D. The results of the pilot study confirmed that the digital terrain models studied are a reliable source in identifying and updating rock formations using the semi-automatic method introduced. The results show that DMR 5G model quality decreases with increasing fragmentation and relative rock formation height, while the proportion of gross errors increases. The complementary DMR 5G+ is better in terms of location and altitude.
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