Skip to main content

Elevation Data: Digital Elevation Models 

Elevation Data

Render any area on Earth in meticulous detail with our wide range of custom Digital Elevation Models. L3Harris can use various data sources (satellite, aerial, and LiDAR) to automatically process and produce high-quality, high-resolution, and high-accuracy Digital Elevation Models over large areas. For decades, clients in industries such as visual simulation, mapping, engineering, and urban planning have relied on our domain expertise to help them get the most out of their data.  

Our Digital Surface Models (DSM) and Digital Terrain Models (DTM) are available at various resolutions. A DSM represents the Earth’s surface and includes vegetation and artificial objects, while a DTM represents the Earth’s surface without objects like vegetation and buildings. For areas with insufficient archive elevation coverage, our data experts can create custom elevation data applications and partner with top public and private vendors from around the globe to develop new datasets tailored to your unique needs.  

Finding the right image or data is rarely easy. Contact us if you need to learn more about the type of Digital Elevation Model your project requires or if a sensor doesn't cover your area of interest. Whether it's tasking satellite imaging technology to get it or mining our vast archive of datasets for context, L3Harris will deliver you the right imagery for your project.  


Request A Quote

“L3Harris’s ability to convert images into our distinctive coordinate system while maintaining integrity of photo has given us an additional source of survey verification” Kurtis Popkie, Westmoreland Mining


The possibilities for 3D mapping are infinite — ranging from wireless planning, city planning, infrastructure management, disaster management, and environmental monitoring to applications in public health and academic research.

RESTEC has established a vast network of source data to create the AW3D elevation maps that digitally depict terrain, ground undulations, and the heights of trees and buildings worldwide in the highest resolution available.

AW3D Enhanced

AW3D logo

AW3D Enhanced Digital Elevation Models are some of the world’s highest resolution and most accurate digital maps derived from satellite data. With spatial resolutions ranging from 0.5 meters to 1 and 2 meters, AW3D Enhanced products are ideal for any project that requires medium- to large-scale mapping geodata. They produce DTMs so detailed that users can easily discern slight variations in the height of trees and other natural features.  


Resolution: 0.5 meter/ 1 meter / 2 meter 
Format: GeoTIFF, DEM, others 

Sample data available upon request

  • Tokyo 50 cm DTM
  • Tokyo 50 cm DSM
  • Morrison, CO 50 cm DSM
  • Morrison, CO 50 cm DTM

Request A Quote

Elevation Data
AW3D logo

Composed of more than 3 million image stacks, the AW3D Standard is the world's best global Digital Elevation Model. It covers land around the Earth in resolutions ranging from 2.5 to 5 meters. This product family comprises high-quality optical satellite data — Japan Aerospace Exploration (JAXA) used the ALOS-PRISM tri-stereo sensor to capture the source imagery that fuels AW3D Standard Digital Elevation Models. The AW3D Standard was begun in February 2014 as part of the public‐private partnership project among JAXA, NTT Data, and Japan's Remote Sensing Technology Center.  

Resolution: 5m 
Vertical Accuracy: 5 meter RMSE / 7 meter CE90 
Format: GeoTIFF and others 

Sample data available upon request

  • Morrison, CO 2.5 m DSM
  • Morrison, CO 2.5 m DTM


Request A Quote


Accurate, low-cost, and expansive, the AW3D Telecom is the ideal 3D elevation dataset for simulating wireless signal propagation. Thanks to its high accuracy, it complies with most telecommunication operators' standards. It’s also compatible with signal propagation analyses, such as car-to-car communication in a self-driving system. L3Harris provides complete datasets optimized for these purposes, including height values acquired from high-resolution satellites and land usage classification based on sensors.  

Vector map data

Request A Quote

Vector Data of buildings

The AW3D Building 3D elevation dataset uses the latest satellite imagery to bring ground features such as buildings, vegetation, and overpasses to life. Both 2D footprint and height information of each building is provided as vector data, which can be bundled with other layers to create sophisticated Digital Elevation Models. This dataset is perfect for various simulation applications such as telecommunications, asset planning, and line-of-sight analysis.  



Request A Quote

City vector map

Do you need to render a congested urban area in fine, high-quality detail? AW3D Metro is a precise, large-scale 3D city model with national and statewide coverage. It consists of 3D vector models of buildings, vegetation, bridges, and other artificial structures, along with 3D raster data in resolutions ranging from 0.5 to 1 meter. Whether you're simulating 5G networks, analyzing natural disasters, or devising tomorrow's smart cities, this dataset from AW3D will help you make better strategic decisions faster.  

Request A Quote

Vector map of airport

Know every inch of busy airports with these electric terrain and obstacle datasets, optimized to comply with the industry’s major international standards. They’re created from high-resolution satellite imagery — which is required data for every plane’s takeoff and landing procedures, as well as managing airport facilities. In addition, these datasets provide mapping inside airports and can be updated affordably.  

Request A Quote


AW3D App Telecommunication

Natural and artificial objects often interfere with the millimeter-spectrum waves 5G networks need to operate correctly. That's why our clients depend on the power of highly accurate 3D Digital Elevation Models when designing 5G networks. AW3D's cutting-edge technologies capture the level of detail required to build advanced datasets for meticulously planned 5G networks.  

  • Geo data for radio network planning / RF geo data / 3D geo data for wireless / Geo data for 5G / Network planning
  • Line-of-sight analysis
  • IoT / Smart city planning / Connected society / MMTC
  • Autonomous driving / Autonomous vehicle / Self-driving / Vehicle-to-vehicle / Vehicle-to-infrastructure / V2V / V2X / eMBB
  • Smart manufacturing / Drone / Robot / Machine / URLLC / Smart construction / Smart hospital / Smart agriculture
  • Interactive experience by VR and AR / Real-time video streaming / Wearable technology
AW3D App Mapping

Having highly accurate and detailed 3D digital terrain maps can make the difference between success and failure when designing 5G networks, which use millimeter-spectrum waves that are vulnerable to interference from natural and artificial objects. AW3D’s cutting-edge technologies capture the level of detail required to build advanced datasets for meticulously planned 5G networks. Use cases include: 

  • Large- to medium-scale mapping 
  • Contour lines and feature extraction
  • Cadastral analysis
  • Change detection
  • Base map
  • Digital map reference
AW3D App Disaster

Re-imagine a better tomorrow by using superior terrain data and object information to precisely simulate natural disasters such as landslides, floods, and building failures. From contour maps to Digital Elevation Models, our satellite imagery allows users to do more than assess damage and devise recovery plans; it also helps them make the places we love more resilient against extreme weather. Uses in disaster mitigation include:  

  • Disaster simulation (landslide, flood, building collapse)
  • Emergency response plan / Disaster recovery plan / Hazard identification
  • Detect disaster-affected areas
  • Landslide volume estimation
  • Disaster-ready facility management
AW3D App Construction

Streamline and optimize any construction project with accurate, high-resolution, ready-to-use datasets from AW3D. Based on satellite imagery, they're as precise as aerial surveys, rendering initial on-site surveys superfluous and helping users complete the preconstruction phase faster than ever. They also cover vast areas without worrying about flight restriction zones. AW3D datasets are compatible with GIS software and CAD platforms and enhance large infrastructure projects such as road and rail construction, city planning, green area management, and dam construction. Use cases include:  

  • Geological surveys (topology, terrain, object count, land use)
  • Population estimations from building volume calculation
  • Infrastructure construction & land development (soil volume, 3D visualization, route planning)
  • Design simulation (wind/fluid simulation, sunlight simulation, line-of-sight propagation)
  • Approval processes (3D simulation of post-project conditions)
  • Year-to-year change tracking 
AW3D App N Resources

AW3D provides accurate, detailed terrain site information faster, safer, and more affordably than on-site surveys. Renowned for its accuracy in both vertical and horizontal dimensions, AW3D is also compatible with non-visible bands such as shortwave infrared, making it the perfect choice to assist explorations for natural resources such as oil, gas, iron, gold, and more. Uses include:  

  • Mining exploration
  • Exploration site selection
  • Exploration site management
  • Pipeline planning and management
  • Geothermal facility survey
  • Basin analysis
AW3D App Electricity

Surveying an expansive area before constructing or repairing a power grid can be costly and time-consuming. 

With AW3D terrain model datasets, users expedite the design phase by getting the accurate data they need quickly — ensuring they manage critical resources effectively and complete project goals ahead of schedule. These datasets drive success in dam construction, soil-volume calculation, and river slope analyses. Additional uses include:  

  • Power facility management and maintenance
  • Power plant construction
  • Power line route planning
  • Initial design phase (hydroelectric power station)
  • Post-completion illustration
city vector graphic

Autonomous car systems — the future of transportation — depend on the power of high-accuracy 3D data, yet we've mapped less than 1 percent of the global road network with this advanced technology. That will change as self-driving cars become an everyday reality — and AW3D datasets will help render that future in precise detail.  

Powered by AI, 3D mapping techniques, and advanced processing, AW3D datasets extract critical transportation information such as road lanes, line markings, slope information, and the height of nearby objects quickly and efficiently to help support the development of autonomous car systems. Use cases include: 

  • Self-driving (autonomous car) system map creation
  • Map updating
  • Road line markings
  • Road elevation, slope calculation
  • Initial design phase (hydroelectric power station)
  • Post-completion illustration
AW3D defense image

AW3D offers high-resolution and highly accurate 2D and 3D geospatial data covering wide areas with a short turnaround making it useful in supporting critical and timely decision making on matters of national security.

  • Map creation/topographic mapping
  • Situation assessment
  • Logistic support
  • Flight control
  • Diffusion simulation
  • Image processing
  • Actionable intelligence


Hexagon collects two types of data suitable for creating elevation data: overlapping stereo aerial imagery and LiDAR data. The stereo imagery-derived elevation data, referred to as InfoCloud, has many advantages, including very high elevation point density, opening up applications such as vegetation and building mapping, line of sight analysis and realistic 3D imagery visualization. Elevation data options exist anywhere that Hexagon collects aerial imagery, which is much of North America and Western Europe. 

The LiDAR-derived data options deliver even greater vertical accuracy for the elevation data products. This LiDAR option is available in major cities that are covered by the Metro HD data offering.

The standard elevation data type from Hexagon’s nationwide coverage is the Digital Surface Model (DSM) which delivers all surface feature heights. 


Airbus Defence & Space's various elevation data options — including Digital Elevation Models — are uniquely suited for oil and gas terrain analysis, military activities, and the planning or updating of infrastructure networks. Airbus also offers more comprehensive elevation data options from optical stereo and SAR data, allowing users to gain actionable insights about any location on Earth, regardless of slope, location, light, or cloud conditions.


Highly Precise Altimetric Information

Do you need to map an area with limited vegetation and structures? What about areas with significant relief? No matter your needs, Airbus’s range of models provides accurate, on-demand elevation data in various conditions.

Elevation1 is ideally suited for any areas with minimum vegetation and buildings, while Elevation4 is designed to capture any area — urban or rural — with significant relief. Key Features Include: 






Request A Quote


Airbus Defense & Space’s WorldDEM™

WorldDEM™ provides a global (pole-to-pole) dataset of unprecedented quality, accuracy, and coverage. With this dataset, WorldDem has captured the Earth's entire land surface with high-resolution radar to map the planet consistently, accurately, and comprehensively — producing our planet's first standardized Digital Elevation Model. It also reflects remote, inaccessible, and perpetually cloudy areas, and the X-band radar collection method is independent of light and weather, ensuring every place on Earth is covered.


Resolution: 12 meter post spacing  
Projection: UTM / Geographic  
Datum: WGS 84  
Format: GeoTIFF and others  
Dates: 2011 — present  

Samples available upon request

  • DSM Oxford, UK (surface) 6.2 MB
  • DTM Oxford, UK (Bare Earth) 6.8 MB 


Request A Quote


Data from PlanetObserver’s imagery and Digital Elevation Model are excellent sources of regional and global data. Each set delivers consistent results that can be used to create large regional base maps for any project. The Digital Elevation Model and imagery align for 3D project efforts and provide reliable measurements for any area on Earth.


PlanetObserver vector map

PlanetDEM 30 Plus is a reliable multi-source digital elevation product offering global coverage at 30-meter resolution and providing seamless, reliable, and accurate data that’s ready-to-use in various applications.  

Resolution: 30 meter grid spacing 
Vertical Accuracy: Down to 1:50,000 
Sources: SRTM 1 Arc-Second, ASTER GDEM v2, NSIDC, AGDC, CDED, cartographic sources 
Projection: Geographic 
Datum: WGS 84 
Format: FTP or hard drive

Request A Quote

Elevation Data Services

Aerial Survey map

Remove the guesswork and invest in your most valuable resource with the best elevation data for your project — delivered and processed by experts.  

L3Harris provides comprehensive elevation data for local and worldwide coverage and creates customized models that help users predict, anticipate, prepare for, identify, and address any challenges they might face. Our expert photogrammetrists, programmers, and imagery scientists draw upon their vast experience and access to nearly all data types from top vendors to provide comprehensive solutions that remove project uncertainty so you can make swift decisions with confidence. 

Digital Terrain Models

A Digital Terrain Model represents the earth’s surface without objects like vegetation and buildings. Small-footprint stereo paired with significant overlap automatically generates 3D mass point terrain data, which our data experts edit using triangulated stereo images. Key features include:  

  • Highly accurate engineering-grade bare-Earth DTMs from aerial and drone imagery
  • Automated mass point generation and stereo-derived breaklines
  • Hydro enforcement and road flattening
  • Highly accurate contours derived from DTMs
  • High volume scalability using GRID processing computing power


Dense Digital Surface Models

A Digital Surface Model (DSM) represents the Earth’s surface and highlights vegetation and man-made objects. Key features include: 

  • High-resolution DSM at one post per pixel
  • High-fidelity DSM with sharp edges
  • Smooth building and ground surfaces
  • Utilization of multiple sources such as pseudo stereo and true stereo imagery simultaneously
  • Hydro enforcement and road flattening
  • High volume scalability 


Spatial Resolution of ElevationMap Scale EquivalentHorizontal Accuracy (CE90 – Circular Error with 90% Confidence)3D Mass Points
0.25 ft.1:600 (1” = 50’)1.5 ft.3D mass points, 1 – 10 ft. density, and terrain breaklines
0.5 ft.1:1200 (1” = 100’)1.0 ft.3D mass points, 5 – 15 ft. density, and terrain breaklines
1.0 ft.1:2400 (1” = 200’)2.0 ft.3D mass points, 10 – 25 ft. density, and terrain breaklines
1.5 ft.1:4800 (1” = 400’)2.5 ft. 


Satellite Survey image

3D Terrain Elevation

Drape TrueTerrain orthomosaic imagery over a digital elevation surface to create realistic 3D textured terrain you can visualize and analyze in real time.  

  • Multiple supported industry-standard formats, including OpenFLT, OBJ, and more, are available. 


Request A Quote

Terms & Conditions

  • Event Placeholder Banner

    Data & Imagery Products Policies

Related News

Los Angeles Harbour

Editorial | 05. 14. 2024

5 Misconceptions About Satellite Imagery, Part 2

Access to commercial satellite imagery has become increasingly democratized. Students, startups, researchers and casual enthusiasts are leveraging satellite data for various applications – from geocaching to weather monitoring to amateur radio activities.

Los Angeles Harbour

Editorial | 05. 14. 2024

5 Misconceptions About Satellite Imagery, Part 2

Optical Technician lays on diving board suspended between NASA's Nancy Grace Roman Telescope's mirrors.

Editorial | 04. 17. 2024

L3Harris Team Aligns 10 Mirrors for NASA's Roman Telescope

Womens Global Gathering 2024 Luncheon

Editorial | 04. 10. 2024

L3Harris Hosts Women’s Global Gathering Panel on Shaping the Future Space Workforce

Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and JPSS-4

Editorial | 04. 10. 2024

L3Harris Completes Critical Test of Advanced Sounder for NOAA’s Fourth JPSS Weather Satellite

Total Solar Eclipse

Editorial | 04. 05. 2024

Total Solar Eclipse: A Time to Marvel at the Skies and Reflect on Decades of Discovery

Related Domains & Industries

Solutions that solve our customers' toughest challenges.
view all capabilities