Country Specific – Poland

Digital Terrain Model

Cell Size1x1 m
Coordinate SystemPUWG1992
Vertical ReferencePL-EVRF2007-NH
Flight Years2011–now

Our elevation model of Poland is based primarily on the Digital Terrain Model (pl. Numeryczny Model Terenu) made available by the Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography (pl. GUGiK). We strive to keep our model up to date with the latest sources.

Elevation measurements in Poland generally use either the Kronsztadt 86 (PL-KRON86-NH) or European Vertical Reference Frame (PL-EVRF2007-NH) system. Since the elevation model from GUGiK is published in a mixture of PL-KRON86-NH and PL-EVRF2007-NH, SCALGO has applied a correction so that all data is in the same vertical reference system, namely PL-EVRF2007-NH.

In order to use an elevation model for hydrological analysis such as watershed and flow accumulation computations, two primary conditions need to be met:

  • The upstream area of any river should be covered by the elevation model.
  • Structures on top of the terrain should only be present in case they actually block water from flowing under or through them.

Below, we discuss how we process the model to fulfill these conditions as well as possible.


In order to cover all of Poland including upstream areas of all rivers, we have extended the open LIDAR data from the government of Poland with the SRTM v3 1-arc-second DEM, which has a resolution of approximately 30 meter per pixel.

A full overview of when the LIDAR elevation data in Poland was acquired is available by clicking the gear icon next to an elevation layer, selecting the "Source" tab, and "Show source information".

Overview of acquisition dates in the elevation model.

Bridges, underpasses and hydrological corrections

Major bridges have generally been removed from the model, but for many smaller bridges and underpasses, additional hydrological corrections that allow water to flow through such structures may be necessary. SCALGO Live Poland includes a nationwide hydrological correction set based on layers from the GUGiK BDOT10k dataset. Corrections have been generated at locations where rivers intersect roads or railroads, as well as at river sections that overlap with culverts (przepust). Secondly, corrections have been generated at road overpasses and tunnels. Each correction thus follows a line in the BDOT10k river or road network, with end points adjusted to match the elevation model as well as possible. In places where the elevation model is already hydrologically corrected (e.g. at large bridges), corrections are not generated.

This data set is machine-generated, so some errors should be expected. However, since we only include corrections along known river and road lines, we believe it to be conservative in terms of water flow.

The set of corrections is available under the Hydrological Corrections category in the Library.

The national analyses use these corrections, and workspaces created using the predefined "Flash Flood Map" or "Sea-Level Rise" buttons also include them by default. If you create a workspace through any other means than the predefined buttons (e.g. if you upload your own model), you can include corrections in that workspace through the workspace Actions tab by clicking Import corrections, they will not be included automatically.

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Corrections and flow accumulation around a highway intersection


Apart from vegetation and major bridges, also buildings have been removed from the terrain model during construction. When computing water flow paths, more realistic results are generally obtained when the elevation model does include buildings so water can be simulated to flow around them. In SCALGO Live, we accomplish this by adding buildings back into the model using a dataset of building footprints, where we raise all grid cells covered by a building to a height 10 meters above the highest terrain point within the building footprint. This model is called "Terrain/Buildings" and is the basis for all nationwide hydrological computations.

The building footprints are taken from the BDOT10k Buildings dataset.

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Flow paths routed around buildings.

Converting between vertical reference systems

In SCALGO Live, all elevation measurements are shown in the modern PL-EVRF2007-NH vertical reference system.

To convert from the older PL-KRON86-NH vertical reference system to PL-EVRF2007-NH, we have used a model of height differences published by GUGiK.

We have made the model of height differences available in SCALGO Live to make it possible to do conversions between the two systems as needed. To convert from PL-KRON86-NH to PL-EVRF2007-NH in a given location, use the Point Info tool to read the model difference at the location you are interested in. A measurement in PL-KRON86-NH generally gains between 13 cm and 21 cm when converted to PL-EVRF2007-NH.

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Example of location where the elevation in PL-EVRF2007-NH is 81.46 m, and the model difference is 19 cm, so that the equivalent value in PL-KRON86-NH would be 81.46 - 0.19 = 81.27 m.


We have removed parts of the LIDAR model that are off the coast, as the data is generally unreliable. The coastline is taken from the BDOT10k "woda powierzchniowa" vector dataset.

Land cover

SCALGO Live uses the BDOT10k data set from GUGiK for watershed land cover queries. BDOT10k contains a layer named Pokrycie Terenu (Land Cover), which is a comprehensive mapping of Poland into 35 land cover classes divided into 12 classes. Besides Pokrycie Terenu, SCALGO Live incorporates the BDOT10k budynek (building) layer and the BDOT10k mokradło (wetland) layer with 2 classes into the watershed tool.

For a complete list of layers in BDOT10k, refer to the WODGiK w Katowicach document.

When downloading the BDOT10k Land Cover raster, the raster values have the following mapping to the land cover classes.

PTWP01 woda morska sea water 1
PTWP02 woda płynąca flowing water 2
PTWP03 woda stojąca standing water 3
PTZB01 zabudowa wielorodzinna multi-family buildings 4
PTZB02 zabudowa jednorodzinna single-family buildings (detached house) 5
PTZB03 zabudowa przemysłowo‐składowa industrial-storage buildings 6
PTZB04 zabudowa handlowo‐usługowa shopping and service buildings 7
PTZB05 pozostała zabudowa other 8
PTLZ01 las forest 9
PTLZ02 zagajnik woodlet 10
PTLZ03 zadrzewienie coppices 11
PTRK01 kosodrzewina mountain pine 12
PTRK02 krzewy bush/shrubbery 13
PTUT01 ogród działkowy allotment 14
PTUT02 plantacja plantation 15
PTUT03 sad orchard 16
PTUT04 szkółka leśna nursery 17
PTUT05 szkółka roślin ozdobnych plant nursery 18
PTTR01 roślinność trawiasta grasses 19
PTTR02 uprawa na gruntach ornych cultivated land 20
PTKM01 teren pod drogą kołową terrain under 'wheels type road' 21
PTKM02 teren pod torowiskiem terrain 'under tracks' 22
PTKM03 teren pod drogą kołową i torowiskiem terrain 'under 'wheels type road' and tracks' 23
PTKM04 teren pod drogą lotniskową terrain 'under airport road' 24
PTGN01 piarg, usypisko lub rumowisko skalne rock debris 25
PTGN02 teren kamienisty rocky terrain 26
PTGN03 teren piaszczysty lub żwirowy sandy, pebbled, gravel terrain 27
PTGN04 pozostały grunt nieużytkowany other unecploited areas 28
PTPL01 plac square 29
PTSO01 teren składowania odpadów komunalnych residential garbage 30
PTSO02 teren składowania odpadów przemysłowych industrial garbage 31
PTWZ01 wyrobisko exploitation hollow, mine workings 32
PTWZ02 zwałowisko dumping ground 33
PTNZ01 teren pod urządzeniami technicznymi lub budowlami ground under technical objects, machines 34
PTNZ02 teren przemysłowo‐składowy industrial/storage area 35
OIMK01 bagno swamp 57
OIMK02 teren podmokły wetlands 58
BUBD budynek buildings 36-56 and 59
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A big watershed in Poland showing a variety of land cover classes as well as the extra mokradło and budynek classes.

Base map and aerial photography

The default map view when you go to SCALGO Live shows an overview map from Mapbox. The street names and place labels are sourced from OpenStreetMap.

You also have the option of viewing an aerial photography map in standard resolution for the whole country, or a high-resolution aerial map covering part of the country, provided by GUGiK WMTS servers.