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US to release high resolution topographic data globally

SRTM digital elevation data for Africa Credits:NASAUS, September 24, 2014: NASA will be releasing high-resolution topographic data generated from its Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) for Africa region globally over the next year. This data was initially available only to the United States.

The new data increases the detail to 30-meter (98-foot) pixel spacing, now revealing the full resolution of the world's landforms as originally measured by SRTM.

In the beginning topographic data for Africa will be publicly available to help empower local authorities to better plan for the impacts of severe environmental changes such as drought, glacial retreat, inland flooding, landslides and coastal storm surges.

Datasets covering the remaining continents will be made available within one year, with the next release of data focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean. These data are being made available via a user-friendly interface on U.S. Geological Survey's Earth Explorer website.

NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan said,"The public availability of enhanced global SRTM topographic data will greatly benefit international efforts to better understand natural processes that shape our planet, prepare for and respond to natural hazards, and anticipate and prepare for the impacts of global change."

SRTM was a joint project of NASA, the German and Italian space agencies, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Source: NASA