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  1. [data models] Acronym for digital surface model. The representation of continuous elevation values over a topographic surface, including vegetation and man-made features, by a regular array of z-values, referenced to a common datum. DSMs are typically used to represent terrain relief that includes the elevations of the top surfaces of buildings, trees, towers, and other features elevated above the bare earth. The DSM is also known as the "First Return Surface."

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