Saturday, May 23, 2009

Most complete Earth map published // link // The Map Collection

A new global digital elevation model covers 99 percent of the Earth’s landmass to a resolution of 30 metres. The terrain map is based on imagery from the Japanese ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite.

From NASA’s press release: "This is the most complete, consistent global digital elevation data yet made available to the world," said Woody Turner, Aster program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This unique global set of data will serve users and researchers from a wide array of disciplines that need elevation and terrain information." According to Mike Abrams, Aster science team leader at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the new topographic information will be of value throughout the Earth sciences and has many practical applications. "Aster's accurate topographic data will be used for engineering, energy exploration, conserving natural resources, environmental management, public works design, firefighting, recreation, geology and city planning, to name just a few areas," Abrams said.
At the press release you'll also find links to visualizations of the new Aster topographic data, and you can download the Aster global digital elevation model at WIST and at ASTER GDEM .
I found information about GDEM at The Map Room, Jonathan Crowe's intriguing and daily updated blog about maps.

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