Digital Terrain Model (DTM) (glossary)

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A digital elevation model (DEM) that incorporates the elevation of important topographic features on the land.

Note to entry: DTMs are comprised of mass points and breaklines that are irregularly spaced to better characterize the true shape of the bare-earth terrain. The net result of DTMs is that the distinctive terrain features are more clearly defined and precisely located, and contours generated from DTMs more closely approximate the real shape of the terrain.


ISO TC211. "Digital terrain model." In: ISO TC211 Multilingual Glossary. Version from 2020-06-02. Concept ID: 1936. Available at:



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