90 Meter Global Terrain Map

Last year I created detailed terrain maps of several countries and US states by combining elevation and texture data from several different sources.  Since then, I have had numerous requests to create high resolution terrain maps of other countries and regions. Instead of continuing to create individual custom maps, I have decided to go ahead and release a 90-meter resolution terrain map covering the entire Earth (except for the poles). The resulting map is a 52 gigabyte terrain map of the Earth.  The map has been split into 648 1×1 degree GeoTIFF tiles to make it easier to download a specific region of interest.

I’ve tried to use the best available data with the most relaxed licensing restrictions.   The source data was obtained from the following sources and merged together to create the map.

I’ve also decided to ease my licensing limitation a bit and release the entire 90 Meter Global Terrain Map under the Creative Commons Attribution license.  Please credit the Google Earth Library and provide a hyperlink to http://www.gelib.com/global-terrain-map.htm with any online reuse or distribution of this map.  In addition, you must include a citation of “ASTER GDEM is a product of METI and NASA” somewhere near the map.  Additional suggested citations and detailed copyright information are included in the readme.txt file that can be found in the folder containing the map tiles.  The credit and citations can go in the end-credits for multimedia presentations.

I have had several people inquire about a more official looking release form to allow them to use the map in publications, television shows, etc.  It shouldn’t be necessary, but if you want something official looking for your files, contact me with a quick note that you need the release form and I will email it to you.

To download the map, first use the index map below to locate the tiles covering your area of interest.

 

 

Then download the corresponding TIF file from my Google Docs server. There is also a zip file containing all of the World files (prj/tfw) for use in GIS applications on the Google Docs server.  I know the Google Docs server is not the most convenient method of downloading a large number of the map files, but I need to use the cheapest method of hosting possible to keep my website free.  If anyone would like to mirror these files on FTP server or traditional Web server, please contact me.

 

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9 comments to 90 Meter Global Terrain Map

  • Kurt

    Matt -

    Very impressive, thanks you very much for sharing!

    Kurt

    ps. Can you suggest any readings(links, books) on the techniques and software you used to combine the different sources?

  • topomatt

    The hardest part was finding all the data. After that, the process was actually quite simple using Global Mapper (about $350) to add the hill shading to the Blue Marble imagery. Took a couple days for my PC to create all the TIF files.

  • [...] GeoTIFF tiles to make it easier to download a specific region of interest. Makes a great base map. http://www.gelib.com/global-terrain-map.htm Matt Fox Google Earth Library (RSS Feed) Reply With [...]

  • [...] 90 Meter Global Terrain Map « Google Earth Library Instead of continuing to create individual custom maps, I have decided to go ahead and release a 90-meter resolution terrain map covering the entire Earth (except for the poles). The resulting map is a 52 gigabyte terrain map …http://www.gelib.com/global-te .. [...]

  • There is a problem with these shared image files showing up in my own Google Docs account, and I am unable to hide them. I believe it is a bug in Google Docs where files cannot be hidden if too many people are sharing them. From what I’ve been able to find out in the support forums, this bug was supposed to have been fixed several months ago, but it obviously hasn’t been. My Google Docs account is now unusable. I will let you know if I find a fix, but I thought you should be aware of the problem.

  • I tried deleting the network link from My Places, and now most of the files are gone. You might want to look into this bizarre behavior; I’ve certainly never seen it before. Anyway, it looks like Docs is usable again.

    • topomatt

      Sorry for confusion David. I have also found Google Docs to be very buggy and can be difficult to use for this type of purpose. Unfortunately, it’s the cheapest way I’ve been able to find to share 100s of gigabytes of map data so we are stuck with it for now. I hear Google may soon be coming out with G-Drive, so maybe that will improve on some of the shortcomings of Google Docs. I’m always on the lookout for cheap hosting plans and maybe I will find something better for similar price some day.

      • Don’t worry; I figured it wasn’t your files but a problem with Google Docs. I don’t do much document sharing, so I’d never had to hide shared docs before. Love your site, by the way. I’ve been working with historical overlays in GE a lot lately; the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection is a fantastic resource. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/ This weekend, for example, I discovered that 100 years ago the Rainforest Cafe in downtown San Antonio was an undertaker’s. I’m tempted to eat there this week and enjoy feeling morbidly smug.

  • rodger

    The color is different between May_13_15.tif\May_13_16.tif and May_14_15.tif\May_14_16.tif.

    The color changes are inherent from the source map so there’s not much I can do about it.

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