Validation of Indian National DEM from Cartosat-1 Data


CartoDEM is an Indian National DEM generated from Cartosat-1 stereo data. Cartosat-1, launched in May, 2005, is an along track (aft −5°, Fore +26°) stereo with 2.5 m GSD, give base-height ratio of 0.63 with 27 km swath. The operational procedure of DEM generation comprises stereo strip triangulation of 500 × 27 km segment with 10 m posting along with 2.5 m resolution ortho image and free—access posting of 30 m has been made available ( A multi approach evaluation of CartoDEM comprising (a) absolute accuracy with respect to ground control points for two sites namely Jagatsinghpur -flat and Dharamshala- hilly; second site i.e. Alwar-plain and hilly with high resolution aerial DEM, (b) relative difference between SRTM and ASTERDEM (c) absolute accuracy with ICESat GLAS for two sites namely Jagatsinghpur-plain and Netravathi river, Western Ghats-hilly (d) relative comparison of drainage delineation with respect to ASTERDEM is reported here. The absolute height accuracy in flat terrain was 4.7 m with horizontal accuracy of 7.3 m, while in hilly terrain it was 7 m height with a horizontal accuracy of 14 m. While comparison with ICESat GLAS data absolute height difference of plain and hilly was 5.2 m and 7.9 m respectively. When compared to SRTM over Indian landmass, 90 % of pixels reported were within ±8 m difference. The drainage delineation shows better accuracy and clear demarcation of catchment ridgeline and more reliable flow-path prediction in comparison with ASTER. The results qualify Indian DEM for using it operationally which is equivalent and better than the other publicly available DEMs like SRTM and ASTERDEM.

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The authors thank Mr.A.S.Manjunath, Project Director and Dr.B.Karthikeyan, Associate Project Director, CartoDEM project for their support during the work. We thank the NASA team responsible for generating global ASTER GDEM, ICESat GLAS data and, NASA/DLR team for SRTM data and hosting at the website.

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Correspondence to S. Muralikrishnan.

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Muralikrishnan, S., Pillai, A., Narender, B. et al. Validation of Indian National DEM from Cartosat-1 Data. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 41, 1–13 (2013).

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  • Indian DEM
  • CartoDEM
  • Cartosat-1
  • Drainage delineation and SST