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ASTER Global Digital Elevation Map
Bjorn Jonsson
post Jul 14 2009, 08:09 PM
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Group: Moderator
Posts: 1942
Joined: 19-February 04
From: Near fire and ice
Member No.: 38

I'm a bit surprised this global DEM of the Earth released roughly 2 weeks ago hasn't been discussed here yet. The horizontal resolution is 30 m and the vertical accuracy 20 m, both at 95% confidence.

The procedure for downloading data is described at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/gdem-wist.asp

I downloaded a single 1x1 tile (there are more than 20,000 1x1 tiles) - it is provided as a 3601x3601 pixel GeoTIFF file. This thing looks very promising. A quick-and-dirty test rendering:

Attached Image

This rendering has a 35 field of view, the altitude is 22 km and the mountains typically are about 700-1200 m high. I don't have a suitable texture map to drape over this particular part of the DEM but I didn't want it in this case anyway as I made this rendering to check the DEM's quality. This is a far better (in terms of resolution) rendering than I have have ever before been able to make from publicly available DEM data, at least for this part of our planet.

Now all I need to do is find suitable satellite images to use as a texture map and to download some additional DEM tiles...
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