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Add custom terrain data



addCustomTerrain(terrainName,files) adds the terrain data specified with a user-defined terrainName and files. You can use this function to add custom terrain data in Site Viewer and other RF propagation functions. You can access the custom terrain data in the current and future sessions of MATLAB® until you call removeCustomTerrain.


In Antenna Toolbox™, addCustomTerrain function converts terrain elevation data from orthometric to ellipsoidal for visualization and when performing Euclidean distance or angle calculations between locations for example for free space path loss.

addCustomTerrain(___,Name,Value) adds custom terrain data with additional options specified by one or more name-value pairs.


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Add terrain for a region around Boulder, CO. The DTED file was downloaded from the "SRTM Void Filled" data set available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

dtedfile = "n39_w106_3arc_v2.dt1";
attribution = "SRTM 3 arc-second resolution. Data available from the U.S. Geological Survey.";

Use the custom terrain name in Site Viewer.

viewer = siteviewer(Terrain="southboulder");

Create a site within the terrain region.

mtzion = txsite(Name="Mount Zion",Latitude=39.74356,Longitude=-105.24193, ...

Transmitter site displayed over satellite imagery

Create a coverage map of the area within 20 km of the transmitter site.


Transmitter site and coverage map displayed over satellite imagery

Remove the custom terrain.


Input Arguments

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User-defined identifier for terrain data, specified as a string scalar or a character vector.

Data Types: char | string

Names of DTED files to read, specified as a string scalar, a character vector, a string vector, or a cell array of character vectors.

  • To add custom terrain from one DTED file, specify files as a string scalar or a character vector.

  • To add custom terrain from multiple DTED files, specify files as a string vector or a cell array of character vectors. If you specify multiple files that do not cover a complete rectangular geographic region, you must set the FillMissing name-value argument to true.

The form of each element of files depends on the location of the file.

  • If the file is in your current folder or in a folder on the MATLAB path, then specify the name of the file, such as "myFile.dt1".

  • If the file is not in the current folder or in a folder on the MATLAB path, then specify the full or relative path name, such as "C:\myfolder\myFile.dt1" or "dataDir\myFile.dt1".

Data Types: char | string | cell

Name-Value Arguments

Specify optional pairs of arguments as Name1=Value1,...,NameN=ValueN, where Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name-value arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the pairs does not matter.

Before R2021a, use commas to separate each name and value, and enclose Name in quotes.

Example: 'FillMissing',true

Attribution of custom terrain data, specified as a character vector or a string scalar. The attribution is displayed on the Site Viewer map. By default, the value is empty.

Data Types: char | string

Fill data of missing files with value 0, specified as true or false. Missing file values are required to complete a rectangular geographic region with the input files.

Data Types: logical

Name of folder to write extracted terrain files to, specified as a character vector or a string scalar. The folder must exist and have write permissions. By default, addCustomTerrain writes extracted terrain files to a temporary folder that it generates using the tempname function.

Data Types: char | string


  • You can find and download DTED files by using EarthExplorer, a data portal provided by the US Geological Survey (USGS). From the list of data sets, search for DTED files by selecting Digital Elevation, SRTM, and then SRTM 1 Arc-Second Global and SRTM Void Filled.

Version History

Introduced in R2019a