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.
- The Blue Marble Next Generation by NASA
- SRTM 30 Plus: SRTM30, Coastal & Ridge Multibeam, Estimated Topography by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego
- SRTM Topography by NASA
- ASTER GDEM by the Japan-US ASTER Science Team
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.