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GPS- vs. DEM-Derived Elevation Estimates from a Hardwood Dominated Forest Watershed

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DOI: 10.4236/jgis.2010.23021    5,652 Downloads   8,721 Views Citations


Topographic attributes are often used as explanatory variables when providing spatial estimates of various environmental attribute response variables. Elevation of sampling locations can be derived from global positioning systems (GPS) or digital elevation models (DEM). Given the potential for differences in elevation among these two data sources, especially in response to forest canopy cover, our objective was to compare GPS and DEM-derived elevation values during the dormant season. A non-parametric Wilcoxon test indicated GPS elevation was higher than DEM elevation with a mean difference of 6 m. Linear regression analysis indicated that GPS and DEM elevation were well correlated (R2 = 0.71, r = 0.84, p < 0.0001). Although elevation among the two data sources differed, the strong linear relationship allows for correction of elevation values in a predictable manner.

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L. Kiser and J. Kelly, "GPS- vs. DEM-Derived Elevation Estimates from a Hardwood Dominated Forest Watershed," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2010, pp. 147-151. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2010.23021.

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