Automated location correction and spot height generation for named summits in the coterminous United States

International Journal of Digital Earth
By:  and 



Spot elevations published on historical U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps were established as needed to enhance information imparted by the quadrangle’s contours. In addition to other features, labels were routinely placed on mountain summits. While some elevations were established through field survey triangulation, many were computed during photogrammetric stereo-compilation. Today, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers have replaced expensive triangulation methods. However, since GNSS measurements require visiting the feature location, a national dataset containing high-accuracy spot elevations has not yet been created. Consequently, modern U.S. Topo maps are devoid of mountain peak or other spot elevations. Still, topographic map users continue to demand the display of spot heights. Therefore, a pilot study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of automatically generating elevation values at named U.S. summits using available elevation data. The devised method uses an uphill stepping technique to find the most likely highest point in subsequently higher-resolution elevation models. Resulting elevation values are compared to other published sources. Results from 196 summits indicate that values derived from lidar are generally higher, whereas those populated from the one-third arc-second USGS Seamless 3DEP elevation dataset are generally lower. A thorough understanding of these relationships require the evaluation of more points.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Automated location correction and spot height generation for named summits in the coterminous United States
Series title International Journal of Digital Earth
DOI 10.1080/17538947.2020.1754936
Volume 13
Issue 12
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Center for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS)
Description 15 p.
First page 1570
Last page 1584
Country United States
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