New disruptive technology delivers cheaper digital elevation models, when and where you need them

3D Vricon sample of Rio de Janeiro, BrazilFor more than a decade, geo-professionals have favored lidar technology Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). Lidar is highly detailed, precisely accurate, and can penetrate tree canopies to allow for bare earth Digital Terrain Models.

But lidar is not ideal for all customers. The price of lidar is a showstopper for many. Collecting lidar is expensive, especially for small projects, and collection timelines depend on good weather. Clouds, on-ground snow, or strong winds can keep a collection team grounded for weeks or even months, which can drive up costs.

A new methodology for creating DEMs is gaining momentum. Vricon, a joint venture between Saab and DigitalGlobe, employs a scalable and precise technology to create detailed 3D models and DEMs using images from the vast DigitalGlobe image library. DigitalGlobe has been collecting massive amounts of imagery for the last decade. This amounts to more than 80 petabytes of data, or enough data to wrap the Earth’s surface in images more than 70 times. The rich image library creates the opportunity to build multi-look photogrammetry from coincidentally overlapping images that meet the angle requirements to build stereo elevation models. So instead of waiting on image collections, we can build DEMs on-demand for almost any location on Earth. This means you are no longer dependent on a successful collection to get the product you need. Instant availability from the archive not only shortens timelines but dramatically reduces costs.

To see this disruptive technology and other elevation offerings from DigitalGlobe, listen to the on-demand recording and learn how to select the right product for your project and budget.