NASA and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and industry (METI) released the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) to the worldwide public on June 29, 2009. The GDEM was created by processing and stereo-correlating the 1.3 million-scene ASTER archive of optical images, covering Earth's land surface between 83 degrees North and 83 degrees South latitudes. The GDEM is produced with 30-meter (98-feet) postings, and is formatted as 23,000 one-by-one- degree tiles. The GDEM is available for download from NASA's EOS data archive and Japan's Ground Data System. In this colorized version, low elevations are purple, medium elevations are greens and yellows, and high elevations are orange, red and white.
High-resolution TIFF (27MB)
Los Angeles Basin image
The Los Angeles Basin is bordered on the north by the San Gabriel Mountains. Other smaller basins are separated by smaller mountain ranges, like the Verdugo Hills, and the Santa Monica Mountains. In this perspective view looking to the northwest, Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) simulated natural color image data were draped over digital topography from the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) data set. Dodger Stadium is visible in the lower right, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the light- colored area at the foot of the mountains in the upper right of the image. The ASTER data were acquired August 15, 2006, and are located near 34.1 degrees north latitude, 118.2 degrees west longitude.
High-resolution TIFF (2MB)
Related videos: › Play Cruising Over California
| › Play Cruising Over Los Angeles
Death Valley, Calif., has the lowest point in North America, Badwater at 85.5 meters (282 feet) below sea level. It is also the driest and hottest location in North America. Located in eastern California and western Nevada, Death Valley forms part of Death Valley National Park. The region is characterized by deep valleys and high mountain ranges, located in the large Basin and Range province of the western United States. This view looking towards the northwest was created by draping an Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) simulated natural color image over digital topography from the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) data set. Furnace Creek ranch in the right foreground is the only place on the valley floor where vegetation grows year-round due to water channeled through Furnace Creek. The ASTER scene was acquired September 24, 2003, and is located near 36.4 degrees north latitude, 116.9 degrees west longitude.
High-resolution TIFF (6MB)
Himalayan glaciers in Bhutan
In the Bhutan Himalayas, Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer data have revealed significant spatial variability in glacier flow, such that the glacier velocities in the end zones on the south side exhibit significantly lower velocities (9 to 18 meters, or 30 to 60 feet per year), versus much higher flow velocities on the north side (18 to 183 meters, or 60 to 600 feet per year). The higher velocity for the northern glaciers suggests that the southern glaciers have substantially stagnated ice. This view looking towards the northwest was created by draping an ASTER simulated natural color image over digital topography from the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) data set. The ASTER scene was acquired November 20, 2001, and is centered near 28.3 degrees north latitude, 90.1 degrees east longitude.
High-resolution TIFF (6MB)