Digital elevation model
A digital elevation model is a digital model or 3-D representation of a terrain's surface — commonly for a planet (including Earth), moon, or asteroid — created from terrain elevation
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface ....


There is no common usage of the terms digital elevation model (DEM), digital terrain model (DTM) and digital surface model (DSM) in scientific literature. In the most cases the term digital surface model represents the earth's surface and includes all objects on it.