Because it looks freak'en amazing!!
Elevation data shows the results of natural processes that have created the landscapes you see today. These processes are continually reforming the topography and influence where and how you live and travel, and the weather you experience. In short, landscapes have a fundamental impact on your day-to-day life. Elevation data in the form of our sophisticated topographic maps gives you the opportunity to explore landscapes and are beautiful conversational pieces of art that everyone can relate to.
We create map designs that show you where you live, that unforgettable trip of a lifetime and what landscapes surround you and your family. Maps featuring man-made structures, like roads, are great but they almost always show patterns you expect. Topographic maps show landscapes as they are, and reveal unexpected patterns and forms that are millions of years in the making.
The data used in our designs originates from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM).SRTMis an international research project that aimed at creating an almost global-scale digital elevation model. The data set produced by this mission is the one of the most complete high-resolution digital topographic dataset of the Earth.
SRTM consisted of a specially modified radar system that flew onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour during the 11-day STS-99 mission in February 2000. To capture topographic data the SRTM radar was outfitted with two antennas and used a technique known as interferometric synthetic aperture radar. The antennas transmit radiation that is reflected from the area of interest. This reflection data is then recorded by both antennas and converted into images. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) can be produced by using the stereoscopic effect caused by slight differences in observation position between the images. These DEMs can then be loaded into highly specialized software designed to display, analyze and manipulate geospatial data. Our topographic map designs are created using this software.
The answer is simple: Radar emits microwaves that can penetrate through everything that obscures the surface of the earth, like haze, rain, snow, clouds and smoke. Radar stands for “Radio Detecting and Ranging” and it was used for SRTM as it could constantly collect data without disruption, an important detail when the mission was limited to only 11 days.
A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a 3D representation of a terrain’s surface. It is sometimes referred to as a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) or a Digital Surface Model (DSM). These models come in a variety of different file formats and only represent height information about a surface.
Typical Uses of Digital Elevation Models include: