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Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Global Digital Elevation Model
June 30, 2009 6:10 AM   Subscribe

The most complete terrain map of the Earth's surface has been published. It covers 99% of the planet using ASTER satellite imagery. You can download the map and some cool images from NASA's page.
posted by atmosphere (23 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
As far as I could tell, it costs money to download the actual data. Too bad. I was looking forward to making my own maps.
posted by lukemeister at 6:41 AM on June 30, 2009


The missing 1% is anywhere Dick Cheney has been.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:50 AM on June 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


You can get the DEV model files for free, but the other sensor data is charged for - the prices are reasonable though actually if you think about the amount of data that you get.
posted by bigmusic at 6:51 AM on June 30, 2009


it absolutely does not cost money to download the imagery, which can be obtained via the WIST of LPDAAC (per this PDF). Requires registration and a submitted form, but they'll set up an FTP folder for you.
posted by zachxman at 6:54 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


That pdf just says that we can get the GDEM - "Global Digital Elevation Models" - and looking at the WIST page - there are three other data sets offered - sensor L1B which is the radiance level and sensor L1A and the primliminary L1A data. Any idea what the L1A data set is?
posted by bigmusic at 7:03 AM on June 30, 2009


It covers 99% of the planet...
Well, 99% of the visible landmass of the planet. What would be reeeeally cool is if they combined this with high-resolution imagery of the world's ocean floor.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:07 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ok, so it looks like the L1A dataset is the actually unprocessed imagery. "The ASTER Level-1AE product contains reconstructed, unprocessed instrument digital data derived from the telemetry streams of the 3 telescopes at their respective ground resolutions: Visible Near Infrared (VNIR), 15 m, Shortwave Infrared (SWIR), 30 m, and Thermal Infrared (TIR), 90 m. There is no browse product provided for the expedited L1A data set."

This is the dataset you want if you want to make pretty pictures guys.
posted by bigmusic at 7:08 AM on June 30, 2009


The WIST of LPDAAC sounds like some seriously awful fantasy novel.
posted by sixswitch at 7:09 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, 99% of the visible landmass of the planet. What would be reeeeally cool is if they combined this with high-resolution imagery of the world's ocean floor.


*gets haunted look in his eyes*

No. No it would not. Trust me on this. Seriously.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 AM on June 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


This is great. One of the the things Canadian governments get wrong is they insist on charging for GIS data.
posted by Mitheral at 7:15 AM on June 30, 2009


No. No it would not. Trust me on this. Seriously.

Aww, don't listen to that guy, the water's fine... there's nothing to worry about at all. Especially around the Pacific Islands and coasts of New England.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:34 AM on June 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


The WIST of LPDAAC sounds like some seriously awful fantasy novel.

Any idea what the L1A data set is?

Welcome to the seedy underworld of satellite/aerial Earth imagery. It's a bit like the back room of a seedy strip club: getting access is pretty easy but you can never be sure what you're going to get, and you don't get to see it (in its actual resolution and quality) until you've already paid.

(I kid. But with the recent lack of funding and subsequent shutdowns of certain key offices, with the merging of their responsibilities with existing ones, a lot of the tools I had finally gotten familiar with are elsewhere, and quite often the contact emails get you nowhere. It is a mystifying and frustrating world, particularly when you go through all of the steps necessary to get access and realize, sadly, that the resolution of whatever niche of the world you need is largely worthless for any actual data processing.)
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:48 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't see my house? Bah.
posted by jquinby at 8:05 AM on June 30, 2009


How does this new Digital Elevation Map compare to what's in Google Earth now? Has Google already been using the data? Will it?
posted by Nelson at 9:03 AM on June 30, 2009


Awwww, 30 meter posts. I was hoping for a better free DEM than the NED.
posted by LoopyG at 9:06 AM on June 30, 2009


One of the the things Canadian governments get wrong is they insist on charging for GIS data.

Huh?

http://geobase.ca/geobase/en/index.html

http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/geogratis/en/index.html

http://www.geographynetwork.ca/website/obm/viewer.htm


I've never paid for Canadian GIS data
posted by unSane at 9:48 AM on June 30, 2009


How do I attach this to Google Earth?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:50 AM on June 30, 2009


six-or-six-thirty : Luckly all I ever want is vector data - it might be a bitch to convert or figure out what kind of projection that the data is in, but I always know if what I am buying is supposed to be useful. Dealing with counties that want to charge for want to charge for everything annoys me though.
posted by bigmusic at 9:55 AM on June 30, 2009


slashdotted
posted by @troy at 11:04 AM on June 30, 2009


Pfft. NASA and its satellites. "Oh, look at me I launched a rocket into space to take a picture of the ground, I'm so cooooool." Big deal. The ground's down here, Einstein.

You know what would impress me? If NASA hired a few hundred guys with cameras to just walk the earth, taking pictures of the ground as they went, a la Google Street View.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:26 AM on June 30, 2009


It's the SPACE administration, not the friggin' GROUND Administration.
posted by unSane at 2:23 PM on June 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


"How do I attach this to Google Earth?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:50 AM on June 30"


Second!
posted by Severian at 2:40 PM on June 30, 2009


Where's my house?
posted by paddbear at 5:52 PM on June 30, 2009


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