The SRTM digital elevation data, produced by NASA originally, was a major breakthrough in digital mapping of the world, and provides a major advance in the accessibility of high quality elevation data for large portions of the tropics and other areas of the developing world.
The NASA Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) has provided digital elevation data (DEMs) for over 80% of the globe. This data is currently distributed free of charge by USGS and is available for download from the National Map Seamless Data Distribution System, or the USGS ftp site. The SRTM data is available as 3 arc second (approx. 90m resolution) DEMs. A 1 arc second data product was also produced, but is not available for all countries. The vertical error of the DEM’s is reported to be less than 16m. The data currently being distributed by NASA/USGS (finished product) contains “no-data” holes where water or heavy shadow prevented the quantification of elevation. These are generally small holes, which nevertheless render the data less useful, especially in fields of hydrological modeling.
The SRTM digital elevation data provided has been processed to fill data voids, and to facilitate it’s ease of use by a wide group of potential users. This data is provided in an effort to promote the use of geospatial science and applications for sustainable development and resource conservation in the developing world. Digital elevation models (DEM) for the entire globe, covering all of the countries of the world, are available for download.
The SRTM 90m DEM’s have a resolution of 90m at the equator, and are provided in mosaiced 5 deg x 5 deg tiles for easy download and use. All are produced from a seamless dataset to allow easy mosaicing. These are available in both ArcInfo ASCII and GeoTiff format to facilitate their ease of use in a variety of image processing and GIS applications. Data can be downloaded using a browser or accessed directly from the ftp site.