DTM vs DEM – what does it mean?

If topography is the reason for aerial survey, vegetation and buildings can insert false readings into the data. Using Agisoft Metashape it is possible to classify and filter out the unwanted data.

The following video shows some of the stages involved to remove the trees from this particular dataset.

The stages shown are:

  1. Sparse Cloud – the first completed process created during image alignment
  2. Wireframe Mesh showing the lumps created by the trees
  3. A dense cloud coloured to show point confidence
  4. A dense cloud showing point classification – the trees are shown in white
  5. A coloured mesh showing the quarry with trees
  6. A dense cloud with trees removed
  7. A coloured mesh showing the quarry with trees removed

This process can be used to create DTM (digital terrain model) as opposed to a DEM (digital elevation model). DTMs display the ground topography. The following images show DTM & DEM of the same area.

Digital Elevation Model (DEM)

Digital Elevation Model

Digital Terrain Model (DTM)