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I'm trying to find elevation data for the whole globe for a simple mapping application and I'm not having any luck. I really don't want anything fancy, just something like a 4000x2000 raster of elevation values across the globe would be fine. I plan to colormap and interpolate it myself. Does anyone know where I might find something like this?

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You might consider the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 30 product, which is a coarse resolution near-global 30-arcsecond DEM. You can download the data at the following FTP site:

http://dds.cr.usgs.gov/srtm/version2_1/SRTM30/

There is also the GTOPO30 elevation data set that is commonly used for these applications.

EDIT

The GTOPO30 dataset has been replaced by the Global Multi-resolution Terrain Elevation Data 2010 (GMTED2010), available here, which uses a combination of available elevation data sources (e.g. SRTM, Canadian elevation data, SPOT) to create a multi-source global dataset. Credit goes to Vince for pointing this out.

  • I was hoping for something that was already stitched together into one big raster rather than broken out into tiles if you know of anything like that... – gct Oct 14 '14 at 14:39
  • @gct The SRTM tiles are actually seamless, so mosaicking them is quite simple in any GIS. – WhiteboxDev Oct 14 '14 at 14:51
  • Unfortunately I don't have a GIS available to stitch them together myself =C – gct Oct 14 '14 at 15:03
  • I assume then, that all you're really looking for is an image of a DEM and not the actual elevation dataset. If that's the case, here is the single image SRTM DEM as an image: photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA03395_modest.jpg – WhiteboxDev Oct 14 '14 at 15:06
  • @gct Also, if you do find you need a GIS, there are plenty of free and open-source GIS available to you like QGIS, SAGA, GRASS, and Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools (for which I am a developer). – WhiteboxDev Oct 14 '14 at 15:07

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