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A GIS-Based Mathematical Approach for Generating 3D Terrain Model from High-Resolution UAV Imageries


A typical topographic survey constructs and interpolates the undulating topographic surface of the earth. Although satellite and radar images with elevation information are a well-known method for topographic survey worldwide, due to the high cost, these sources are not popular enough, especially in developing countries. In contrast to that, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could be a cost-effective and time-effective method for 3D in-depth mapping analysis. The broad aim of this study was to construct a Python-based mathematical model for 3D modeling using UAV imageries. For the purpose of this research work, primary data have been collected by DJI Mavic Pro with 1/2.3″ (CMOS) 12.71 M Effective pixels sensor and used secondary information from different published sources. DroneDeploy software was used for flight mission planning to collect the relevant imageries. Agisoft Metashape Professional software was used for geocorrection of the collected imageries, image alignment, dense cloud mapping, digital surface modeling, and development of orthomosaic imageries. QGIS software was used to develop a python-based mathematical model of digital terrain modeling (DTM), which could provide measurements at actual ground elevation. ArcGIS software was used for mapping and representation of the developed model and imageries.

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Data Availability

Data are available on request to the first or corresponding author.


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This research paper was written without funding which was inspired and supported by the first co-author.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Raju Ahmed.

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Ethics Approval

The Spatial Analysis Lab approved this research in Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. All of the analyses were performed in studies involving such inspiration for the apprentice’s researcher to develop various kinds of models for further research using unmanned aerial vehicles.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Ahmed, R., Mahmud, K.H. & Tuya, J.H. A GIS-Based Mathematical Approach for Generating 3D Terrain Model from High-Resolution UAV Imageries. J geovis spat anal 5, 24 (2021).

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  • UAV
  • 3D Modeling
  • Mathematical Model
  • Python
  • DTM