Terrain Maps

**UPDATE 8/13/2011** – I have made a couple important updates.  First, I have released a global version of the very popular 90-meter terrain map.  I have also relaxed the licensing restrictions to allow for commercial use.  See below for more details on both of these changes.

There are many ways to visualize the terrain and topography of the Earth’s surface on a map.  Recent technological advances allow us to see the Earth’s surface in ways that have never been possible before.  The terrain maps presented below were created with a desktop computer by combining over 150 gigabytes of elevation and imagery data from the sources listed below.

The resulting terrain maps show an amazing level of detail and allow us to see the surface of the Earth in a way that is not possible by viewing any of the source data sets on their own.  In short, the SRTM and GTOPO elevation data was used to add hill shading to the Blue Marble imagery.  The links below will allow you to download maps for various parts of the world.  Quick warning, that the maps are very high resolution and some of them are very large downloads.

I have also processed several of these with Microsoft SeaDragon.  This allows you to view them in their full resolution very easily in a web browser.  Check out this post for more information.


I’ve also decided to ease my licensing limitation a bit and release the Global Terrain Maps 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 Version 2 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.

The maps currently available are listed below:

Global Terrain Maps:


Country Terrain Maps

I have made individual maps for a limited number of countries.  The Country Maps can be downloaded from this link.

United States Terrain Maps

Low resolution JPG files are linked below.  Download high resolution JPG/GeoTIFF files from here

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming



Terrain Map


67 comments to Terrain Maps

  • Kerim Bayer

    I would love to see a 90 meter one for Turkey, if you plan on producing one…

  • I added one for Turkey. Good news is it looks great. Bad news is, it’s almost 300 megabytes. Link is above in the main post.

  • Kurt


    Cool work,if your time permits please post a 90m for Austria.



  • Reddy

    This is amazing, I love the detail! I’ve been looking for something like this for months… If it’s possible, could you please create a map of Slovakia?

  • Kurt


    and please make a map of austria too



  • Mahdi Heydari


    Could you please, make a map in 90m for Iran, I want to know, How I can overlay it in Google Earth.

    Thanks in advance

  • Stu

    Hi, nice work. I’m curious how you selected the color ramps for the maps above. For example, Oregon (my home state) appears to be displayed not only by elevation, but also by rainfall (eastern Oregon, while generally higher than western, is also drier). Your colors have nicely incorporated both elevation and precipitation. How’d you accomplish this? Thanks!

    • Hi, nice work. I’m curious how you selected the color ramps for the maps above.

      I didn’t use color ramps. Instead I used the elevation data to add hill shading to the NASA Blue Marble imagery.

  • Anonymous

    Good work,if your time permits please post a 90m for Southern Africa.

  • Kurt

    Could you please explain the method/software you used to priduce these terrain-maps??

    It’s kind of hard to explain the whole process. But in a nutshell, I use a GIS program called Global Mapper to add hill shading based on the NASA SRTM elevation data to the NASA Blue Marble global texture map. You can download a free evaluation version of Global Mapper, but I doubt the free version will let you do this.

  • Hasan Ijaz

    Can you give me a 90 meter resolution map for pakistan. I am working on decision support system for post earthquake disaster management. I want to use it on shelter planning. Would your map help? Please guide me :)

  • Kurt

    Thanx for posting Austria:-)

  • KB

    Wow, thanks for all the effort, these are wonderful! Look forward to seeing Central/South America~

  • Niko

    I would really appreciate to have a map like this from Russia, if that’s just possible. I’d like to compare the terrain and the areas of different languages / language families.

  • Niko

    And thanks for all the impressive work you’ve already done! :)

  • topomatt

    Russia is on my to do list. It is huge so I have to figure out the best way to do it in such a way that it won’t take 3 weeks for my computer to process it.

  • prasad

    excellent effort.can you do for india 90 metre terrain maps,we r looking for decison support at the time of disaster mitigation for planning purpose.

  • David

    I´m amazed by your work. I was wondering if you could post a 90 meter one for Colombia, South America.
    Thanks in advance!

  • Tim

    These are great. Just wondering if you have anything for Canada yet.

  • Hi,

    If you’ve time… -> Guinea :o)

    Friendly yours,
    Henri Willox – ICT teacher (Conakry, Guinea)

    • topomatt

      For those of you waiting on specific areas to be covered in the higher resolution (3-arc-second) maps…..Good news and bad news.

      Good news #1 – I went ahead and created a 3 arc-second version of the map for the ENTIRE Earth. Yes, it looks amazing.

      Good news #2 – I replaced the 30 arc-second GTOPO elevation data that was previously used above/below 60 degrees latitude with 5 arc-second ASTER elevation data. Northern Russia, Alaska, Northern Canada, etc. now look almost as good as the other parts of the world.

      Good news #3 – I have worked out the licensing so I can now offer the maps for commercial use for a fee. If you’re interested in using them for commercial use, please contact me by clicking on the About link at the top of the blog. They are still free for non-commercial use.

      Bad new – The global 3 arc-second map is a monster. It will be available in 648 10×10 degree tiles. The whole thing weighs in at over 50 gigabytes and is almost 100 gigapixels. This has to be one of the most detailed global maps ever created. It will probably take me 2-3 weeks to upload all the GeoTIFFs. I’ll post a message when I begin that process.

      If you have any suggestions on a better way to make the map available, let me know.

  • Ott

    These are indeed good news! Please let us know about the fee for commercial use (filled the form already but no reply).

    Downloading from Google Docs was quite a pain. Could you make the data more easily accessible, e.g., in a normal HTTP/FTP site. If you allow I’m sure many will be happy to host them for you or mirror as a backup.

  • topomatt

    I’m hoping to find an alternative to the Google Docs hosting. Right now, that seems to be the most affordable way for me to host the files without risking violating TOS of my regular web host. If anyone has 100 gigabytes on a server and wants to help out, let me know.

    • Fascinating thread here. You might look into making a bittorrent file, or Amazon S3 hosting (of course, which costs money).

      “The whole thing weighs in at over 50 gigabytes and is almost 100 gigapixels. This has to be one of the most detailed global maps ever created.” Wow!

      I didn’t know you could host files of such magnitude at GD.

  • Hi,

    Thank you very much for your initiative! Would you perchance have already uploaded the new higher resolution images for rio de janeiro, brazil?



  • Great one! please include the Philippines in your list. Thanks a lot!

  • Great maps!

    Is it possible to obtain one for Southeast England?



  • Sidnex

    I noticed that you had done most of the Middle East, but didn’t see Syria in there. Is that in the works?
    Thanks for your efforts on this by the way!

    • topomatt

      Syria and the rest of the world are in the works. Just been a bit tied up with my real job lately. Hopefully have some time soon to get back to it.

  • Richard

    Thanks for all your work on these terrain files. They are superb. I would like to use them to create some maps using a program called BibleMapper. It can import terrain files but to locate them I need to have the lat/long coordinates in decimal format for the north, south, east and west borders of the terrain file. Can you explain how I can convert your tfw/prj files to calculate the lat/long coordinates.


  • G’day,

    I wonder if it is possible to find, or can you do, a 60 meter above sea level contour for everywhere? That is the estimate for sea level rise should all the icecaps go. I think maybe they did all melt, judging by the deep ice core time limits at Dome C and Dome Fuji in Antarctica, at the last magnetic reversal, some 780,000 years ago. I want to be able to check for old elevated strand lines, particularly boulder beds along rivers, where rocks were dumped on reaching the sea. And for raised estuaries and suchlike.

    Can you help?

    Best anyway, and, superb work.

    Peter Ravenscroft

    Geologist, Australia

  • Becca

    Those maps look amazing! Can you please make one for the U.K?? Thank-you if you can!!!!


  • Watson

    Hi, is it possible to obtain a 90m terrain map for ITALY?
    Thanks a lot

  • Aural Architect

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful maps!
    I would especially appreciate a detailed terrain map of ETHIOPIA if and whenever you get a chance to make/post one.

    Thank you for all you have done and have yet to share!


  • steven Fisher

    Thank you for this information. I am a geophysical tech working on Colombia data. I am unable to load in the Columbia.tif file into any geophysical application(SeisX/Kingdom). I think I have to edit the .prj/.tfw files to Colombia Coordinate System – Llanos(71deg). Any direction would be appreciated.

    • topomatt

      Thank you for this information. I am a geophysical tech working on Colombia data

      You can’t just edit the PRJ/TFW files. You also need to transform the image. I suspect that the GIS program you are trying to use doesn’t like the TIFF compression. I would try MapWindow or Quantum GIS. They are both Open Source GIS programs that should be able to help you convert the map to a format you can use. You might also try converting it to an uncompressed TIF file using a standard image editor.

  • seum

    is it possible to have Italy images???

  • jonathan

    Good day. Great work. I hope you can do the same for Philippine images too. Keep it up!

  • R.E.L.

    These maps are truly spectacular. I have used SRTM data to create google earth overlays with shading, etc. that are very nice but they do not compare to these. I have one problem though. I try to open these files with software such as Microdem, 3dem, but they do not recognize the files as DEMs. I try decompressing the TIFF files but it did not work either. Do I need another kind of software? I would like to use these as google earth overlays (if that is possible given the size of some of these files).

    • topomatt

      I have used SRTM data to create google earth overlays with shading, etc. that are very nice but they do not compare to these. I have one problem though. I try to open these files with software such as Microdem, 3dem, but they do not recognize the files as DEMs. I try decompressing the TIFF files but it did not work either. Do I need another kind of software? I would like to use these as google earth overlays (if that is possible given the size of some of these files).

      They are not elevation grids, they are raster images. They are standard GeoTIFF files, so they should be viewable with any standard image editor or GIS program that reads GeoTIFFs. Some of them are huge files and might be too much for some software/hardware combination.

      There is a Google Earth version here

      Although the resolution is lower, and I see it’s not working correctly. Looks like Google may have done something with recent update that broke it, so I will have to try and fix.

  • R.E.L.

    The google earth version is not as good but it is still excellent. I don’t think my computer could take bigger files any way. Thank you for sharing all this.

  • Richard

    any chance you get please put the mountains of Papua Indonesia , the western half of the island shared with PNG , on the map to be used in low flying aircraft.
    Thank you friend

  • PKT

    Can I have one for Tajikistan please. Thanks in advance!!

  • Andrew

    Very nice maps/relief you’ve done here! Can you please create one for Philippines. Thanks in advance.

  • Anonymous

    Could you pls. create one Map for Bangladesh. Kind regards. Khoorshid,Bnagladesh

  • Md. Khoorshid Alam

    Do I deserve one Bangladesh Map. Thanks for your understanding. Kind Regards, Khoorshid, Bangladesh

  • o shalabi

    could you add saudi arabia too, i like your work,

  • Don Hopkins

    You ROCK! …and Thank You!! Even if I dont know how to use this yet!! Been wanting tinker with this for months!

  • Luis V.

    These maps are just outstanding! great work.

    Could you please tell precisely what geographic projection are you using for the maps?

    I wonder also if you may upload data of Peru and Paraguay, I am doing a report about the Andes and the Paraguay Chaco.

  • [...] Terrain Maps « Google Earth LibraryDescription : The country terrain maps are at 90 meter resolution at Geographic Projection. I will continue to add more countries and areas throughout the world as I have time. If you have a specific request, post a comment and I will …http://www.gelib.com/terrain-m .. [...]

  • Adam

    Hi, I love yout maps. When you have time, could you please add Syria? Thanks

  • Sterren

    Hi Is it possible to get maps for South Africa. Do you have any recent updates on South Africa. Interested in Northern Cape Province for solar site research. Thanks

  • Becky


    My friend recommended your website to me for topographic maps… its amazing!

    I am looking for a topographic map of Jerusalem, especially the Old City. Do you think you have time to work your magic on that area?!

    Thanks, keep up the good work, by far the best topographic maps I have found


  • Sterren

    HI Matt
    Can you name (identified earth region) or give a preview file of each May_*.tif on the new global 90m map?
    Hope to see a country map of South African in good time. Thanks

    Sterran, you can find a map showing the location of each of the TIF files at this post http://www.gelib.com/global-terrain-map.htm

    At this time, I don’t have any plans to make any more country maps. Instead I went ahead and released the entire earth because it’s very time consuming to make the individual country maps.

  • Owen

    Hi Matt
    I also run Globalmapper. I have used the same soarce data as you are useing here.
    My interest is in ancient Archaeology. I altered the projection files, via circumpolar, to produce a world map with the north pole in Hudson Bay, as per Charles Hapgood’s theory of crustal shift.
    The result was the first I had ever seen the world as Hopgood described.
    I will try to email you a copy.

    Yours Owen
    New Zealand

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