New Digital Elevation Maps and Data

Grand New View of the Canyon : Image of the Day

On October 17, 2011, NASA and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) released a significantly improved version of a digital topographic map of Earth based on data from ASTER. Known as a global digital elevation model, the map was created from stereo-pair images; that is, sets of two slightly offset two-dimensional images were merged to create the three-dimensional effect of depth.

The maps drape an aerial photo over a digital elevation model, creating a three-dimensional view.

“These data can be used for a broad range of applications, from planning highways and protecting lands with cultural or environmental significance, to searching for natural resources,“ said Mike Abrams, ASTER science team leader at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The map is available online to users everywhere at no cost.

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