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TIN or grid DEM from contours?

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cartogis

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We are planning to prepare mountain maps at scales 1:25K and 1:50K and 3D visualizations using contour dataset of a mountainous region . We can create grid DEM from here to create 3D visualizations in GIS softwares because most of them work in grid mode for 3D analysis and display. I have read some discussions on TIN and grid on the forum, but did not see anything related to characteristic parts of terrain. If it is not considered, flat triangles (with all corner points on same contour) can occur due to Delaunay triangulation so drainage and ridge lines (skeleton lines) need to be used. To be specific, triangle edges need to be on the skeleton lines and not cross these lines to prevent flat triangles. But in some cases, skeleton lines can not be available.

I want to learn how you are considering this issue when creating 3D displays or maps from contours or other DEM sources? Have you ever compare Grid DEM created from contours using different interpolation techniques (linear, bilinear, kriging etc.) or from different data sources with contour data by overlaying them? Which softwares best suit for creating accurate grid DEM from contours? Any suggestion or experience will be appreciated. Best regards.

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Martin Gamache

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