Where can I find free elevation data for Europe?

The available resolutions and terms of use are important details that I also seek.


5 Answers 5


The 3-arc second (~90 meter) SRTM covers all of Europe to 60° N, has good positional accuracy and is part of the public domain. CGIAR provides an interface for easily downloading the data tiles, which are provided in both ASCII and GeoTIFF formats.

Country specified sites:

For Finland there is https://tiedostopalvelu.maanmittauslaitos.fi/tp/kartta it uses CC 4.0 License. Select korkeusmalli (elevation modell) (2m and 5m), or laserkeilusaineisto (LAS data)

  • 4
    as far as I know the data processed/distributed by CIGAR are not in the public domain. you can use them free of charge for non-commercial projects and for commerical usage you have to ask. please see here: srtm.csi.cgiar.org/SRTM_FAQ.asp#1
    – Kurt
    Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 16:51
  • 1
    Distribution alone is insufficient to change the data license, but it may be their version is sufficiently transformative to render it a new work. In any case, you can download the raw tiles which are in the public domain from USGS: dds.cr.usgs.gov/srtm/version2_1
    – scw
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 20:31

Elevation can be extracted (x,y,z values) from

ETOPO1 is a 1 arc-minute global relief model of Earth's surface that integrates land topography and ocean bathymetry. It was built from numerous global and regional data sets, and is available in "Ice Surface" (top of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets) and "Bedrock" (base of the ice sheets) versions. Historic ETOPO2v2 and ETOPO5 global relief grids are deprecated but still available.

Grid/node-registered: cells are centered on lines of latitude and longitude (21601 by 10801 cells). Cell/pixel-registered: cell edges are along lines of latitude and longitude (21600 by 10800 cells).


ETOPO1 Ice Surface: grid-registered: netCDF, GRD98, binary*, xyz, georeferenced tiff cell-registered: netCDF, GRD98, binary*, xyz, georeferenced tiff ETOPO1 Bedrock: grid-registered: netCDF, GRD98, binary*, xyz, georeferenced tiff cell-registered: netCDF, GRD98, binary*, xyz, georeferenced tiff

* ArcGIS users - use binary and convert using 'Float to Raster' Custom Grids

Online: Custom regional grids can be created online from ETOPO1 using NGDC's Grid Translator; Desktop/Offline: For both cell-centered and grid-centered downloaded grids, custom grids with user-defined bounds can be created in multiple formats, using the desktop version of Grid Translator, part of the free GEODAS Windows Software for Online Downloads and GEODAS XWindows Software.

How to Cite ETOPO1:

Amante, C. and B. W. Eakins, ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis. NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24, 19 pp, March 2009.

FTP Site: ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/global/relief/ETOPO1/data/ice_surface/grid_registered/binary/ Big Files! for download [contains x,y,z values]

  • Mapperz, underdark was looking for Europe data. Doesn't the NOAA site only feature relief data for Antarctic and Greenland? I would also like to know where to obtain 1 arc-minute data for Europe and Canada... Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 13:34
  • 1
    The Clue is "global relief model" highlighted in Bold..
    – Mapperz
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 18:48
  • sos.noaa.gov/datasets/Land/etopo2.html
    – Mapperz
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 18:53
  • sos.noaa.gov/datasets/Land/etopo1.html
    – Mapperz
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 18:54
  • This is a GLOBAL dataset - see comments below. Have used this in many mapping projects but always remember to cite the source:
    – Mapperz
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 18:56

Since 2013 there is the EU-DEM 25 m: new Digital Surface Model (DSM), representing the first surface as illuminated by the sensors. You can download the GeoTIFF files here: http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/eu-dem#tab-gis-data

In 2014/2015 there will be the release of the worldwide SRTM 30m data as announced here: https://www1.nga.mil/MediaRoom/LeadingStories/Pages/NGAreleaseshigh-resolutionelevationdatatopublic.aspx (in April 2015 the European tiles - source)


In 2016, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) released a new free 30 m (1 arcsec) resolution global topographic data set called ALOS Global Digital Surface Model "ALOS World 3D - 30m" (AW3D30) (http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/ALOS/en/aw3d30/). It is stated as having a 5 m height accuracy and has been compiled from images taken with the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS). There are indications that the product has been derived from an even higher resolution data set; there is a 15 m resolution DEM for Japan. The coverage spans 82°N to 82°S. There are some voids in the current data that can be readily filled using other data sets such as SRTM. Like the SRTM data set, these data are described as a digital surface model since the heights of off-terrain objects (vegetation, buildings, etc) are included. The following is an example of an AW3D30 DEM of the Canadian Province of New Brunswick.

enter image description here


J. Takaku, T. Tadono, K. Tsutsui : Generation of High Resolution Global DSM from ALOS PRISM, The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, pp.243-248, Vol. XL-4, ISPRS TC IV Symposium, Suzhou, China, 2014.

T. Tadono, H. Ishida, F. Oda, S. Naito, K. Minakawa, H. Iwamoto : Precise Global DEM Generation By ALOS PRISM, ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, pp.71-76, Vol.II-4, 2014.


The ASTER GDEM v.2 coverage spans from 83 degrees north latitude to 83 degrees south. Each elevation measurement point in the data is 30 meters apart (also in Europe) see ASTER Global DEM (GDEM) Version 2 Released with Significant Updates

Download tiles from NASA

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