Comparison of the Accuracy for Common Interpolation Methods Using Three Different Topographical Areas in Nebraska

Authors: Brett Kelly*,
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Interpolation, Accuracy, Topography, Nebraska, GIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Interpolation is a widely-used method to determine values of unknown points found between known points. The goal of interpolation is to calculate values for the areas between the known values as accurately as possible. There are many different interpolation algorithms, such as Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW), Kriging, and Spline. This research will test the accuracy of these three interpolation methods for three different topographical areas in Nebraska. To perform the interpolation, 500 z-values for points are randomly selected from a digital elevation model (DEM). These same points are used for all three methods of interpolation. Following the interpolation, 500 different z-values are randomly selected from the interpolated surface and compared to the DEM. Accuracies are tested by finding the mean absolute error for the IDW, Kriging, and Spline methods for each area. Topographical types include a very flat floodplain in central Nebraska, an area with bluffs in eastern Nebraska, and an area in the Sandhills region in north-central Nebraska.

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