Digital Terrain Modeling

Blog_DigitalTerrainModeling.pngThe Village of Northbrook, IL has recently contracted an engineering consultant to perform a hydraulic analysis of the Village’s water system. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was called upon to provide the consultant with all data pertaining to the water system including mains, hydrants, laterals, and valves. In order to provide the Village with highest quality analysis, the consultant required a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) in order to calculate pressures within the water system. A DTM is a digital model or representation of the Earth’s surface which provides elevation information.

The Village of Northbrook did not have a DTM to provide the consultant, nor the time or money to have one created by conventional means, which involves having an airplane fly over an area and record elevation points using lasers. GIS was able to use contour (elevation) data that the Village had previously gathered to create a DTM with acceptable accuracy for the project. The model depicts the higher elevations in red and lower elevations in green. The extreme high and low elevation values in the village, including roadways, bodies of water, and hills, can easily be viewed in the DTM.

Using GIS technology, the Village was able to provide the engineering consultant with the best available data. In return, the Village will get the best available results of the hydraulic analysis to help improve the overall performance of the water system.