An easy way to use ArcticDEM data in UgCS

(image taken from

I would like to say a big thanks again to ArcticDEM project ( Using their elevation data it is possible to fly drones safely in parts of the globe not covered by “standard” sources of maps and elevation data. ArcticDEM covers a huge area north of 60°.

Look at this Google Earth view – a random point somewhere in Norway, with coordinates  69°45’31.73″N  19°52’0.85″E. According to Google data, the elevation here is ~335m.

Here is the same point in UgCS (without ArcticDEM)

Lets do 5 seconds of magic in UgCS:

  • Click on the Map options icon and select Map layers

  • Click on the Elevation tab, and then click Add

  • Make the new elevation data layer active, then close Map Layers window

That’s all. Now in the same point we have an elevation of 352m.

It may not seem like a big difference (~17 meters), but even such a small error can be disastrous if you fly a route like that with a magnetometer attached to a rope.

It is totally worth spending those 5 extra seconds and have a bit more confidence…

In some areas I have observed a difference of up to tens meters (Greenland, Svabald, etc).

Very important: this online source of ArcticDEM data for UgCS was build using a 32m grid. It is enough for most missions and is much better compared with SRTM, but you should be careful in case of very low altitude flights.

Another important note: in same places ArcticDEM can have voids and processing artifacts, especially over water near the shore lines. So please check your routes carefully…

Safe flights,

UgCS team

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