Terrain Mapping Subgroup

The TMSG Mission is to ensure that characteristics of digital terrain models produced from Earth observation sensors at global and regional scales are well understood and that products are validated and used for appropriate applications.

Terms of Reference

The objectives of the Terrain Mapping subgroup, beyond those of the WGCV, are to:

  • Develop specifications for the generation of “standardised terrain surface products with known accuracy” from similar sensing systems in the context of data continuity
  • Specify evaluation methods and statistics that give transparent information about the quality and heritage of terrain models
  • Update the current dossier of test sites and identify new sites, particularly to satisfy the calibration/validation requirements of future missions and generally improve access to validation data sets
  • Prepare recommendations for the establishment of a global ground control point network
  • Consider how orbit validation could be developed
  • Keep an up-to-date record of the current status of sensors that produce data for terrain mapping and of available Digital Elevation Models (DEM)
  • Produce a DEM requirements document with a science rationale while taking into account the output from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM)

Action Plan

TMSG objectives will be achieved through the following activities:

  • Liase with CEOS Agency activities, especially the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS), to determine the DEM requirements of the user community and ensure that calibration/validation procedures are in place to satisfy that need
  • Collaborate with other groups to ensure that common activities are coordinated and enhanced by collaboration
  • Meet annually to review progress, plan future actions, and discuss results


Prof. Jan-Peter Muller
Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Dept. of Space and Climate Physics
University College London
Holmbury St. Mary
Dorking, Surrey
Tel: +44 (0)1483 204151
Fax: +44 (0)1483 278312