Compilation of digital elevation model for Turkey in 3-arc-second resolution by using SRTM data supported with local elevation data

I. Oztug Bildirici, Aydin Ustun, Necla Ulugtekin, H. Zahit Selvi, R. Alpay Abbak, Ilkay Bugdayci, A. Ozgur Dogru

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In February 2000, the Space Shuttle Endeavour of the “Shuttle Radar Topography Mission” (SRTM) launched by NASA collected elevation data by scanning the earth landmasses between ~60º north and south parallels. After this 11 days mission, the collected data were processed, and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at 1-arc-second – and also 3-arc-second – resolution was created. SRTM DEM contains data voids because of several disturbing effects. The proportion of data voids in Turkey (0.17% for second corrected version) is approximately same as the global proportion (0.15%). The data voids are the most important obstacles for efficient use of the data. DEMs with high resolution are important data sources for all disciplines in geosciences. Since collecting such data and creating DEM are both time consuming and expensive processes, many scientists have been studied on filling these voids in a reliable way. The aim of this paper is to present the results of a project, which aims to validate the SRTM within Turkish territory, and to create a DEM based on the SRTM data covering the same area without data voids. The validation of SRTM was performed using following ground truth data sets: topographic maps (25K maps) and DGPS tracks. The executed statistical analysis for accuracy assessment of SRTM within Turkish territory gives the results consistent with those of global analyses performed by several researchers. The voids are visually classified as the clustering and the scattered voids. The clustering voids were filled with a local data source. For this purpose the 1:25000 scaled national topographic map set (25K maps) was used. The scattered voids were filled with interpolation. As a result of the project, which was completed in September 2008, a complete DEM of Turkey at 3-arc-second resolution has been created and published via Internet for the use of researchers and professionals in geosciences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography
EditorsGeorg Gartner, Felix Ortag
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783642032943
ISBN (Print)9783319005140, 9783319009926, 9783319036434, 9783319081793, 9783319337821, 9783319615141, 9783319639451, 9783319714691, 9783540342373, 9783540685678, 9783540713173, 9783540777991, 9783540873921, 9783540882435, 9783642032936, 9783642032936, 9783642034411, 9783642047909, 9783642105944, 9783642122712, 9783642155369, 9783642224409, 9783642241970, 9783642297694, 9783642318320, 9783642327131, 9783642332173, 9783642343582, 9783642363788, 9783642375323
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event1st ICA Symposium on Cartography for Central and Eastern Europe, 2009 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 16 Feb 200917 Feb 2009

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography
ISSN (Print)1863-2246
ISSN (Electronic)1863-2351


Conference1st ICA Symposium on Cartography for Central and Eastern Europe, 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010.


SRTM, an international research project to create “the most complete DEM of the Earth”, was a starting point in mapping the Earth surface at the global level. The project was conducted by the NGA, NASA, and the German and Italian Space Agencies. Digital elevation data on a near-global scale was obtained by processing interferometric radar images taken by two radar antennas. This study presented the results of a project that aims to validate the SRTM data within Turkish territory and to compile a DEM without voids. Void data are filled with help of 25K topographic maps and by means of interpolation. A project supported by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) was initiated in 2006 that aims to validate the SRTM data, and to compile a complete digital elevation model of Turkey based on this data at 3 arc-second resolution (Bildirici et al. 2007a). To date, comparisons were performed to validate the accuracy of SRTM heights – within Turkish territory – using GPS tracks collected by cars and 25K maps. Thereafter, the SRTM data was checked against data voids, and clustering and scattered ones were distinguished. The former were filled with help of 25K topographic maps and the latter by interpolation techniques (Bildirici et al. 2007b). This study is based on the preliminary results of the project “Compilation of Digital Elevation Model for Turkey in 3″×3″ Resolution Using SRTM Dataset Supported with Local Elevation Data”. The authors thank the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for the support of the project (Project No. 106Y130). The authors also thank the Coordinatorship of Selcuk University's Scientific Research Projects for supporting the participation at CEE 2009.

FundersFunder number
German and Italian Space Agencies
Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey
Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey
National Aeronautics and Space Administration


    • Accuracy assessment
    • Digital elevation model
    • SRTM
    • Topographic maps
    • Topography
    • Turkey


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