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Hello everyone,

I am a new member of OpenStreetMap and first of all I have to say that the idea of the porjekt and the efford of all members is just incredible. I am interrested in digital Terrainmodelling (DTM). Related to a projekt in my university we are searching for ways to optain Geodata of Small Areas (about 5x5 km). The target is to create 3D visualisations. Regarding to that I would like to know if OpenStreetMap includes not only longitude and latitude but also elevation data or any other data that can help us with the porjekt.

Thanks for any help Alex

asked 11 Apr '13, 10:20

pichae's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

OSM doesn't store height data. Most folk use either the Shuttle Radar Topology Mission (SRTM) data or the Aster data. There is a good article in the OSM documentation wiki here: which gives a good start on using NASA's SRTM data.

The ASTER data seems to have moved since I last looked but a little Googling around for ASTER DEM should get you started. (There is a link from the above SRTM page, too.)

Good luck with your project.

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answered 11 Apr '13, 10:28

G3YAC's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

edited 11 Apr '13, 10:29

OSM does not contain elevation data for most points. While it is possible for contributors to add it using the ele key, this has some limitations: Most importantly, it is available only on a relatively small number of objects, most of which appear to come from imports. There is also confusion about the values – in practice, elevation is not always converted to WGS84 as it should be according to the wiki.

Therefore, you will have to rely on external data sources. The only safe, global source appears to be NASA's SRTM raster data. There are somewhat better datasets, such as the one from CGIAR, which is improved SRTM data, or ASTER data. However, with the latter two it's unclear whether they are compatible with OSM's license. Because of how our license works, this doesn't matter as much with the common use case of hillshading overlays for 2D maps, but it is crucial if you want to merge the data sources (which you are likely going to do for 3D visualizations).

Besides ground elevation, there are some other valuable attributes for 3D rendering – depending on what level of detail you are aiming for. For example, the layer key indicates the relative vertical ordering of features which are above or below the terrain.

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answered 11 Apr '13, 11:10

Tordanik's gravatar image

accept rate: 35%

edited 11 Apr '13, 11:11

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question asked: 11 Apr '13, 10:20

question was seen: 4,608 times

last updated: 11 Apr '13, 11:11

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum