I recently discovered landsat-util, and was wondering if there was an equivalent command-line application for global elevation data, (for data around 1 arcsecond resolution, preferably geotiff) or if there is a particularly clean programmatic way of downloading this kind of data. So far i've only found bulk downloads (whereas i would only like to download relevant tiles since i will be downloading them mid-script) and the NED (which correct me if i'm wrong but I believe it only covers the US?)

I hope this isn't too similar to the linked queries.

  • You can get 3 arcsecond data from srtm.csi.cgiar.org - there is an easy URL relationship from long/lat to tile identifier which is easier to see on the website than to explain here. I don't think 1 arcsecond is globally available, but I'd be happy to be corrected.
    – BradHards
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 11:20
  • You can download SRTM-X data with 30 m resolution. However, the earth was acquired in strips with gaps in between. More information here: dlr.de/eoc/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-5515/9214_read-17716 (--> "Downloads" on the right side of the webpage). The data can be downloaded after registration in EOWEB eoweb.dlr.de:8080/index.html
    – Iris
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 11:47

2 Answers 2


I answered a similar question here

You can download and clip a portion of the SRTM 30m DEM with one command with the elevation Python command line tool.

Install it and perform the self check with:

$ pip install elevation

Check if you have all the dependencies installed (mainly GDAL tools):

$ eio selfcheck

Download and clip a portion of the SRTM 30m DEM giving bounding box as WGS84 coordinates:

$ eio clip -o Rome-DEM.tif --bounds 12.35 41.8 12.65 42

There is a tool from the OTB applications to download SRTM tiles related to a set of images. Basically it reads image information, then download the related tiles from http://dds.cr.usgs.gov/srtm/version2_1/SRTM3/ . This is an open source library in C++, so you can look in detail to the code if you want to know how it's done.

EDIT based on @Kersten's comment: SRTM used to be available at 90 everywhere except for the US where it was 30m. More and more SRTM tiles at ~30 meter resolution have been released recently to cover most parts of the World, biggest exception being the Middle East and Northern Africa.

ASTER DEM is a more precise alternative, but it suffers from large artefacts in some places, so use it carefully if you do.

  • SRTM 1 arc second (~30m) data has already been released for most parts of the globe (biggest exception is the middle east and parts of northern africa). Just check the EarthExplorer if you're region is available.
    – Kersten
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 13:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.