Digital Elevation Model — DEM

Sentinel Hub Blog
Published in
2 min readJul 2, 2017


Traditional Earth observation data comes in form of 2D flat imagery. For realistic appearance, we need elevation to rectify and make those images three-dimensional. In order to do so, we can use a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), which we have integrated into the Sentinel Hub services.

The data can be used for ortorectification which helps you improve the accuracy of satellite imagery. With DEM, you are able to measure and analyse your area of interest (AOI), and integrate the data in 3D applications as a terrain data source.

An example of how EU Satellite Centre integrated Sentinel Hub DEM services in their tools.

To give the opportunity of exploiting all the benefits of DEM to Sentinel Hub users, we have used MapZen’s DEM, available through Amazon Web Services (AWS) in US. This dataset is static and does not depend on the date (the values are updating as MapZen is improving the dataset).

Integration of DEM data in QGIS.

Give it a try and explore the DEM dataset with our easy-to-use web application, Sentinel Playground. You can choose among already integrated visualization options such as color, grayscale and sepia.

DEM Color: Province of Alessandria, Italy, visualized with Sentinel Playground
DEM Grayscale: White Salmon, WA, United States, visualized with Sentinel Playground
DEM Sepia: Stromeferry, United Kingdom, visualized with Sentinel Playground

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