A hybrid interpolation method for the refinement of a regular grid digital elevation model

Wen Zhong Shi, Y. Tian

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


A digital elevation model (DEM), which is used to represent a terrain surface, is normally constructed by applying an interpolation method on given sample elevation points. Interpolation methods can be classified into two classes: linear methods, which have a low time cost and are suitable for terrains where there is little change in elevation, and nonlinear methods, which normally consume comparatively more time and are more suitable for terrains where there are frequent changes in elevation. A hybrid interpolation method, which involves both a linear method and a nonlinear method of interpolation, is proposed in this paper. The proposed method aims to integrate the advantages of both linear and nonlinear interpolation methods for the refinement of regular grid DEM. Here, the bilinear is identified as the linear method, and the bi-cubic is taken to be the nonlinear interpolation method. The hybrid method is an integration of a linear model and nonlinear interpolation model with a parameter that defines the weights for each of the models. The parameter is dependent on the complexity of the terrain, for which a DEM is to be interpolated. The experimental results in this study demonstrate that the hybrid method is effective for interpolating DEMs for various types of terrain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Bi-cubic interpolation
  • Bilinear interpolation
  • DEM
  • Hybrid interpolation
  • Terrain complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Library and Information Sciences


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