D E M . S o u r c e s . & . R e s o u r c e s


Where can you download DEMs?

Unfortunately, there is no one source because DEMs come in many flavors and for many areas.

World | United States | Canada | UK | Moon | Mars | Other

Geographic Resources

GNIS Query Form. The USGS has a handy query form to help you find all things geographic (USA).


NGA GEOnet Names Server. A resource for searching non-US geographic names.

GTOPO30 files (~10 Mb compressed) are available for the world in 40 deg lon x 50 deg lat tiles that must be gunzipped and untarred into a 57.6 Mb DEM.
Resolution: approximately 1 kilometer.
Source: http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/

Alternate source: I have CDs of the compressed files and WCS 5 project file. Contact me for costs.
Cost: none
Copyright Restrictions: none

ETOPO5 files that include continental and oceanic terrain.
Resolution: approximately 5(?) kilometers.
Source: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/global/global.html
Cost: none
Copyright Restrictions: none

Combined GTOPO30 and ETOPO5 files cleaned and integrated by David Sandwell at Scripps. Subject to some copyright restrictions.
Resolution: approximately 3 kilometers.
Source: http://topex.ucsd.edu/marine_topo/mar_topo.html
Cost: none
Copyright Restrictions: see site

SRTM HGT files in 1º x 1º blocks
Information: http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/cbanddataproducts.html

Cost: none
Copyright Restrictions: none

Landsat images aren't DEMs but are very useful
USGS Archive: http://glovis.usgs.gov or http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov
University of Maryland Global Land Cover Facility:

Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT)

United States

Query Form. The USGS has a handy query form to help you find all things geographic.

1:24 000 scale DEMs previously on the USGS site have been moved to the GISDataDepot. The DEMs are now organized by state and county. The new SDTS files cannot be imported into WCS v5.52 and earlier versions; v5.53 and later versions can import them. 10-m DEMs are also available for some areas. Equivalent to 7.5-minute and 15-minute USGS topo maps. Best resolution.
Resolution: approximately 30 meters, some 10-m data available
Source: http://www.gisdatadepot.com/dem/demdownload.html
Cost: none
Copyright Restrictions: none

USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED) at 1:24,000 (1:63,360 Alaska) scale

National Ocean Service's (NOS) Estuarine Bathymetry
Hawai'i: Coastal Geology Group


GeoBase. Lots of government agencies came together to make quality GIS data available.
Resolution: 1:250K and 1:50K DEMs, coverage varies
Source: http://geobase.ca
Cost: no
Copyright Restrictions: see site

United Kingdom

Britian's Ordnance Survey Maps
Cost: yes
Copyright Restrictions: see site
Copyright Restrictions: see site

Not of this World

Cost: none
Copyright Restrictions: none

Cost: none
Copyright Restrictions: none
Mars a 'la MOLA tutorial for WCS

Mars a 'la MOLA tutorial for VNS

Other Data Resources

Landsat 7 Facts: http://geo.arc.nasa.gov/sge/landsat/l7.html

Updated 10 November 2015
Copyright R Scott Cherba All Rights Reserved