A DEM file was initiated by the USGS (United States Geographical Service) and is generally in the form of a 16bit targa file holding gridded information relation to terrain coordinates. They can thus be used to create digital terrain models and landforms with the appropriate software.
The "LAND" initiative was aimed at providing a non-proprietary data standard used for storing project information and for transferring it across multiple software packages. Backed up by a large consortium of partners including Autodesk, Inc., the project resulted in high quality surface data models that enable photorealistic rendering and animations.
The DEM (Digital Elevation Model) file type is the most popular large area surface file format used by multiple private organizations and by the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey). DEM files contain only surface data used to construct a regularly spaced grid of elevation points needed for terrain rendering.
How to open LAND DEM Files
Since the Land DEM file format is ASCII based, files with the DEM extension can be opened with any text editor.
Other .DEM file extensions
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