Terrain Analysis Tutorial in MICRODEM

Insure MICRODEM has been installed.  If necessary, download here.  You should immediately download the help file from the help menu.  MICRODEM is a Windows only program; the current version only supports 64 bit versions of the operating system. An older version can still run on 32 bit Windows, and will perform most of these operations if you dig around in the help file.

If the version of the program is older than the revision date at the bottom of this page, update the program.

Introduction to key operations in the program

Go to File, Introductory tutorials, Harper's Ferry Terrain Analysis.  This will download the following data sets, a 100+ MB file, unzip it, and open the DEM.

Data Set Scale Uses Format Web Source
DEM: NED, 1/9" 1/9" DTM, about 2.66x3.43 m Terrain characterization Geotiff USGS, National Map Viewer
OpenStreetMap: vector overlays   Cultural awareness Shapefile http://download.bbbike.org/osm/
Lidar Point Clouds 2.8 pts/m 3D visualization LAS USGS, http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/
Scanned geologic map   Interpret geology KMZ USGS OF-2000-297, from http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/ngmdb/ngm_catalog.ora.html

This data uses common open formats, and should work with no problems in commercial ESRI ArcGIS or open source QGIS.  These data sets will show the range of operations available in MICRODEM; you can later deal with the challenges of getting additional data.  This region was chosen because its relief highlights the 3D possibilities in GIS.


This tutorial emphasizes the terrain analysis aspects of MICRODEM; the program can do many other things.

Investigate displays possible with the DEM.  Display parameter lets you pick the main option, and then many have additional choices that you set the first time you pick or you can modify later.

Overlay raster data on the map

Overlay vector data on map

3D map operations

Open lidar point cloud


Last revision 1/8/2018