NASA’s breakthrough terrain map depicts 99% of Earth’s surface

July 3, 2009 / 4 Comments

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has come out with an amazing new map that covers 99% of the Earth’s surface and highlights elevations of almost every place on the planet.

NASA complete terrain map of Earth 1 NASA’s breakthrough terrain map depicts 99% of Earth’s surface

NASA created the Global Digital Elevation Model using around 1.3 million images collected by a Japanese camera aboard its spacecraft – Terra.

The map is made up of a huge grid of as many as 23,000 tiles, with each height point spaced 98 feet apart.
The colorized version of the Global Digital Elevation Model shows a detailed representation of the Earth’s landmass – with low elevations in purple; medium elevations in greens and yellows; and high elevations in orange, red and white.

In the breakthrough map, England and most of Ireland have been shown as low-lying and sharing a similar elevation to Denmark, Poland and northern Russia in Europe; Mauritania and Somalia in Africa; Brazil and Argentina in South America; Florida in the United States; and parts of Australia.

NASA complete terrain map of Earth 2 NASA’s breakthrough terrain map depicts 99% of Earth’s surface

NASA complete terrain map of Earth 1

According to Woody Turner, a scientist at NASA, the unique and vital data on elevation that the map provides will benefit both users and researchers from a wide range of disciplines that need information on elevation and terrain.  NASA has 15 satellites in orbit, sending to the Earth high-resolution data on how the Earth is changing.

[via DailyMail]