The Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) at the University of Minnesota produces high-resolution, 3D topographic maps of select areas of Earth. The Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are the first data released as part of the EarthDEM Project, a collaboration between PGC, the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, and government partners to produce high-resolution terrain maps for temperate and tropic regions. The DEMs are extracted from Maxar satellite imagery obtained through the National Geospatial - Intelligence Agency license.

EarthDEM products include hundreds of thousands of individual time-stamped, 2 m resolution elevation models spanning more than 10 years as well as a seamless mosaic model. The models are constructed using images acquired between 2009 and present by the WorldView-1, WorldView-2, WorldView-3, and GeoEye-1 satellites operated by Maxar. 

Authorized Data Use and Users

EarthDEM products are available through CSDA to U.S. Federal employees, U.S. Federal contractors, and U.S. Government-funded researchers.

End User License Agreement

Commercial Data/Imagery End User License Agreements Fact Sheet (PDF)

Obtaining Data

Accessing EarthDEM data products:

  • Contact CSDA and provide a name, email address, and other pertinent information (grant number, contract number, etc.) for data access approval
  • Search the CSDA Smallsat Data Explorer (SDX; note: An Earthdata Login is required for access)
  • Review discovered data and download direct from the SDX or using the Bulk Download Tool
Citing Data

EarthDEM screenshots and figures of DEM products can be used in publications without restriction.

EarthDEM products should contain attribution as specified in the Polar Geospatial Center Acknowledgment Policy. Include the following note for any DEM figures: "DEM(s) created by the Polar Geospatial Center from Maxar, Inc. imagery." A citation of the EarthDEM project also must be included.

CSDA Acknowledgment

To help us identify your publications, we request that when you publish using these data, please include the following acknowledgment:

"This work utilized data made available through the NASA Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program."

Additional Information

Please visit the PGC EarthDEM website for additional information.

Further information on The Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) can be found at the University of Minnesota.

For questions on the data contact:


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