What is the vertical accuracy of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) DEMs?

The most recently published figure of absolute vertical accuracy of the 3DEP DEMs within the conterminous United States, in terms of the National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy (NSSDA) at 95% confidence level, is 3.04 meters. 

It is important to note that the vertical accuracy actually varies significantly across the U.S. because of differences in source quality, terrain relief, land cover, and other factors. 

Details of this analysis are published in Accuracy Assessment of the U.S. Geological Survey National Elevation Dataset, and Comparison with Other Large-Area Elevation Datasets—SRTM and ASTER: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1008.

Related Content

Filter Total Items: 4

What sources of data are used to produce the standard 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) DEMs?

3DEP standard DEMs are produced from the highest quality elevation sources within the data holdings of the USGS National Geospatial Program. As of 2015, about 25% of the conterminous U.S. coverage is from high resolution lidar and photogrammetric source, while the remainder of the conterminous U.S. and Hawaii coverage is from USGS topographic map...

Is there a difference between 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) DEM data and lidar data?

Yes, lidar data are represented as a cloud of variably spaced point locations (x,y,z) of any terrestrial target reflecting the laser pulse. In addition to bare-earth, the point cloud will typically include buildings, trees, towers, and powerlines. 3DEP DEMs are raster surfaces of bare-earth elevation values sampled at uniform horizontal increments...

How do I report errors in 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) elevation data?

If you think you’ve found an error please send an e-mail to tnm_help@usgs.gov . We will add the reported information to our "Digital Elevation Model Issues" data log for further analysis and possible correction. Spikes, pits, seam-line anomalies, and other data errors or blunders are of concern to us, and we are working to correct or minimize...

How accurate are elevations generated by the elevation point query service?

The Elevation Point Query Service returns elevations from the 1/3 arc-second 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) DEM dataset in The National Map. Spot elevations are not official and do not represent precisely measured ground surveyed values. Spot elevations at a specific location might differ from monumented control values published on USGS topographic...
Filter Total Items: 3
Date published: February 7, 2019

USGS 3DEP Lidar Point Cloud Now Available as Amazon Public Dataset

The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is excited to announce the availability of a new way to access and process lidar point cloud data from the 3DEP repository.

Date published: October 30, 2018

USGS Topo Base Map Refreshed and Other Updates

The “USGS Topo Base Map” service named “USGS Topo” has been refreshed with new data and design changes. In addition, several of the “Data Availability”, or “Data Index” services have new cloud hosted URLs.

Date published: August 8, 2018

New Elevation Map Service Available From the USGS 3D Elevation Program

The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) announces the availability of a new dynamic map service.

Filter Total Items: 4
Automated GNIS Summit Core Generation
July 26, 2018

Automated GNIS Summit Core Generation

A few summit cores delineated by the National Terrain Mapping program in the Blue Ridge province, North Carolina. While many summits are mapped via the Geographic Names Information System points, boundaries for these features don't exist. This program is automating procedures to do so for the whole nation.

video thumbnail: Elevation
April 30, 2012

Elevation

The National Elevation Dataset (NED) is the primary elevation data product produced and distributed by the USGS National 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). The NED provides seamless raster elevation data of the conterminous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the island territories. The NED is derived from diverse source data sets that are processed to a specification with a

...
November 18, 2010

PubTalk 11/2010 — Silicon, Software, and Science

Monitoring the Earth's Landscape with Low-Cost High-Tech

by Rian Bogle, Remote Sensing Specialist

 

  • The USGS is one of the world's largest providers of remote sensing data, employing the best tools and techniques to expand our knowledge of the Earth.
  • Working with low-cost field and aerial imaging technologies,
...