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BrianZ's Golf Course Design Resource


GeoComm contains the same data as the USGS Seamless server but it is presented in a different way. Instead of entering in the coordinates for your location you download the tile your course is located in. The tiles are sorted by state, county and city.

To get started you need to register for a free account on the GeoComm Site. Once you've done that you're ready to start looking for the DEM. If you know the town or city where your course is located try doing a Google search to find the county in which it resides. Another thing you can try is to gradually zoom out in Google Earth until it displays the counties.

  1. Open the GeoComm Site and select the state your course is located in.
  2. Select the county the course is located in.
  3. Select the first item on the list "Digital Elevation Models (DEM) - 24K".
  4. Select the city or town your course is near and click on the green download button to the right.
  5. Depending on your location you may have more then one resolution option to download. Download the highest resolution available. For more on resolutions see the DEM Overview.

If your coordinates are off the screen when you load the DEM tile in 3DEM then you have the wrong tile and you'll need to go back to the GeoComm Site and try a different one. In some cases your course may reside on two or more DEM tiles. To open multiple files in 3DEM, select and hold down the CTRL key. 3DEM assembles all of the selected files together.

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