Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
18 Mar 2005
18 Mar 2005

Terrain modelling by kinematical GPS survey

G. Nico, P. Rutigliano, C. Benedetto, and F. Vespe

Abstract. This work presents the first results of an experiment aiming to derive a high resolution Digital Terrain Model (DTM) by kinematic GPS surveying. The accuracy of the DTM depends on both the operational GPS precision and the density of GPS samples. The operational GPS precision, measured in the field, is about 10cm. A Monte Carlo analysis is performed to study the dependence of the DTM error on the sampling procedure. The outcome of this analysis is that the accuracy of the topographic reconstruction is less than 1m even in areas with a density of samples as low as one sample per 100m2, and becomes about 30cm in areas with at least one sample per 10m2. The kinematic GPS technique gives a means for a fast and accurate mapping of terrain surfaces with an extension of a few km2. Examples of application are the investigation of archaeological sites and the stability analysis of landslide prone areas.