Interpreting the colors in a surface model

Hello, I just created a good high resolution map and 3D model from a set of 167 photos. The map looks great and when I switched to “Surface Model” from Ortho, I am trying to interpret the colors. I’ve attached an image. What I’m trying to do is calculate the highest elevation in the image and I’m unfamiliar with JET, Earth, Terrain and Pastel in terms of what the colors mean. Can the surface model reveal the elevation information I seek? Also, is it possible to export this file as something other than an ortho TIFF, where I can show a client the color grading without just taking a screen grab of my Mac? When I keep hitting export, it just gives me the same daylight map image. Thanks very much for any help someone can offer.

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I forgot to add, I am simply trying to determine the highest point on the rendered image, for building purposes. I ran this set if jpegs on high resolution with all other settings at default. I’m unsure if a DSM is the same as a DEM, and if not, which presentation from the 2D or 3D menus should I be looking at?

hi @zryall3

It depends on your needs. I strongly recommend you to explore using qgis, but also you can use the measurement tools in the 3D view. Point measurement tool will show coordinates, and the third is the one you are looking for.

You can do tons of cool stuff in the 3d viewer.

WebODM Poitcloud



Israelbar, thanks so much for the assistance. I clearly need to gain more basic understanding of mapping jargon, just to understand what I’m looking at. I’ll explore qgis as well. I wish there was a good tutorial just for understanding the 3D options you’ve shown me here. I found my way to them easily but need to invest some time in more learning. For instance, understanding the colors that each layer of a surface map represent. Cheers, Zach


Colors are relative to the data, so don’t put much stock in the exact colors. Look at the trends/ramps.

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Good to know, thanks again for the help.

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