Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (9): 1305-1325.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201409006

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress of DEM and digital terrain analysis in China

Guoan TANG()   

  1. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210046, China
  • Received:2014-06-10 Revised:2014-07-09 Online:2014-09-17 Published:2014-09-17


Digital elevation model (DEM) is known to be one of the most important national fundamental geographic information data. The theory, method and application of digital terrain analysis (DTA) based on GIS is a hot research issue in geography, especially in the field of geographical information science. This paper makes an overall review on Chinese scholars’ contribution to the research of DEM and DTA, especially to DEM data model, uncertainty, analysis method, scaling effect and high performance computing method, as well as its application in DTA. A few research groups in this field have made great progress recently, and young scholars are playing a critical role in the process. Their research has caught up with the international forefront, and achieved fruitful results in significant innovation. Some research, like DEM based regional geomorphological research on the Loess Plateau and Tibetan Plateau of China highlighted the contribution of Chinese scientists, which have had influence in the international academia to a certain degree.

Key words: digital elevation model, digital terrain analysis, geomorphology, geomatics, geographic information science, review