Applied Geomatics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 81–96 | Cite as

The effect of user-defined parameters on DTM accuracydevelopment of a hybrid model

  • Ante ŠiljegEmail author
  • Mirko Barada
  • Ivan Marić
  • Vlatko Roland
Original Paper


User-defined parameters (point density, interpolation, and pixel size) have a great influence on the accuracy of digital terrain model (DTM). Therefore, the optimal interpolation method (IM) and appropriate pixel size should be used to create a continuous surface. Pixel size or spatial resolution tends to be a compromise between the number of samples and the size of the study area, whereby input dataset is often devaluated. In this paper, the authors propose a new methodological approach to DTM production (hybrid DTM—HDTM) from an aero-photogrammetry dataset. Two different approaches to DTM production are presented: the usual (UDTM) and the hybrid (HDTM). HDTM is based on restructuring and refining the input dataset by generating contour lines, determining the optimal interpolation method and selecting the appropriate spatial resolution. The goal is to develop a qualitative DTM while minimalizing the devaluation of input data and error propagation. The accuracy of different IMs for UDTM was examined in a comparative analysis of six statistical parameters by applying cross-validation, with the focus on the root mean square error (RMSE) parameter. Four different methods of selecting optimal spatial resolution were tested for the same model. The UDTM and HDTM generated were compared by interior, exterior, and visual accuracy assessment and by the performance success of specific hydrological parameters: (1) flow accumulation—by applying a developed DNA concept and (2) watershed—by calculating volume and 3D surface. The reference value for exterior accuracy assessment was high-resolution airborne LiDAR DTM (LDTM). It was found that ordinary kriging (OK) was the best IM (RMSE, 1.9893 m). The spatial resolution of UDTM was calculated by combining two variants of the point pattern analysis method and was found to be 19 m. On the other hand, the complexity of terrain method was used to define the spatial resolution of HDTM (3 m). HDTM achieved better results than UDTM in all aspects of accuracy assessment. The exterior accuracy of HDTM was better by 1.483 m (RMSE). Finally, the results of the applied DNA concept showed that a stream generated from HDTM had a 2.587 m lower horizontal root mean square error (HRMSE) than the stream generated from UDTM.


DTM accuracy Sampling method Pixel size Spatial interpolation Hybrid DTM 


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Fotogrammetria e Topografia (SIFET) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of ZadarZadarCroatia
  2. 2.Prehnit d.o.o.ZagrebCroatia

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