Updated Version of Global Elevation Data (NASADEM)

NASA released the free global digital elevation model NASADEM on February 2020

NASADEM is a near-global elevation model that is being produced primarily by completely reprocessing the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) radar data and then merging it with refined ASTER GDEM elevations. The new and improved SRTM elevations in NASADEM result from better vertical control of each SRTM data swath via reference to ICESat elevations and from SRTM void reductions using advanced interferometric unwrapping algorithms. Remnant voids will be filled primarily by GDEM3, but with reduction of GDEM glitches (mostly related to clouds) and therefore with only minor need for secondary sources of fill.

Filled Voids in sand dunes at Western Desert, Egypt

NASADEM is a significant improvement over the available three-arcsecond SRTM DEM primarily because it will provide a global DEM and associated products at one-arcsecond spacing. ASTER GDEM is available at one-arcsecond spacing but has true spatial resolution generally inferior to SRTM one-arcsecond data and has much greater noise problems that are particularly severe in tropical (cloudy) areas. At one-arcsecond, NASADEM will be superior to GDEM across almost all SRTM coverage areas, but will integrate GDEM and other data to extend the coverage. Meanwhile, DEMs from the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt Tandem-X mission are being developed as part of a public-private partnership. However, these data must be purchased and are not redistributable. NASADEM will be the finest resolution, global, freely-available DEM products for the foreseeable future.


Users can now access the data products through the Data Pool and NASA’s Earthdata Search.

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