Terrain data

This service uses a variety of digital elevation models (DEM) with global coverage and accuracy ranging from 90 to 1 metres. Global coverage is provided by Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, version 2, data from NASA. It was created in 2000 and has a resolution of either 30m or 90m. Most of the world's landmass (99%) is covered between -60 and +60 degrees as standard. For high latitude regions such as Scandanavia, Northern Canada, Greenland and Iceland, extra tiles have been added courtesy of Jonathan de Ferranti at viewfinderpanoramas.org.

For Europe and the US, high resolution 30m SRTM data from NASA is used.
As well as radar mapped DEM we also support Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data mapped from aircraft. This highly accurate and more current data not only maps out the terrain to sub 1 metre accuracy but it also accounts for ground clutter such as buildings and trees. We've got LIDAR data for England and Wales courtesy of the Environment Agency and are happy to upload public or private LIDAR tiles on request.

Coverage map

Green is 90m, red is 30m. Click an area like England to check LIDAR coverage.

Custom LIDAR

The terrain data in the system is continually growing to support demand. Requests for new data are encouraged and can be made via the contact form. Recent examples include New York City, San Francisco and Hull.
Most open raster formats (GTIFF, ASCII GRID, SHP) are supported as well as other formats like LAS and LAZ.
Many countries offer public LIDAR data for free download, the Environment Agency in the UK is a good example. Principally if the data has been funded by the public then it should be released free of charge. Some EU countries are still struggling with the concept of principles but thankfully most get it so there is plenty of free LIDAR data available.

Pricing and Service Level Agreement

Custom LIDAR up to 50MB will be uploaded for free for users with an active expert plan. For users with larger requests, data is priced at £1 per 10MB so a 500MB upload would cost £50.
Tiles can be public or private so only the requester benefits from their use. Private tiles cost £10 per 10MB so a 500MB upload would cost £500.
Users paying for LIDAR to be uploaded can expect it to be performed within 10 working days. If the request takes longer then it will cost nothing.


NEW ZEALAND LIDAR: Sourced from LINZ. CC-BY 3.0. http://www.linz.govt.nz/data/licensing-and-using-data/attributing-elevation-or-aerial-imagery-data