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Vol. 165, Issue 2, February 2014, pp. 155-163




Comparative Analysis of Spatial Interpolation Methods: an Experimental Study

* Qulin Tan, Xiao Xu

Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, 100044, China
* Tel.: 086-010-51688207, fax: 086-010-51683764

* E-mail: qltanbjtu@163.com


Received: 16 December 2013 /Accepted: 28 January 2014 /Published: 28 February 2014

Digital Sensors and Sensor Sysstems


Abstract: As being an essential tool for estimating spatial continuous data, interpolation methods have been applied to various disciplines concerned with the Earth’s surface. In the paper, six spatial interpolation algorithms, including an internationally popular ANUDEM method and five other commonly used interpolation methods, were applied in three different landform regions, that is, hills, mountains and alpine area. Quality analysis and accuracy comparison were carried out using random point check, overlay comparison between derived contours with original ones, and 3D visualization analysis etc. Experimental results show that the accuracies of DEMs generated by ANUDEM are the highest. IDW method ranks the second. TIN, Kriging and natural neibourhood methods have similar accuracy, and the spline-function method is the last. For a specific interpolation method, the greater the terrain undulates, the lower the accuracy of the generated DEM is.


Keywords: Spatial interpolation, Geographic information system, Digital elevation model, Topography, Accuracy.


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