Find Open Sources of Elevation Data With OpenTopography

Caitlin Dempsey


OpenTopography is a portal that provides access to open sources of topographical datasets and processing tools.

Founded in 2009, OpenTopography pulls together datasets from government agencies as well as from academic sources. Based at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, OpenTopography currently hosts 422 high-resolution topographic datasets.

The map interface, Find Topography Data, provides a visualized view of available datasets. Users can also browse a listing of available high resolution topography datasets.

Most of the coverage is for the United States, although there are some datasets available for other countries.

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For analyzing the elevation datasets, users can find tools via the OpenTopography Tool Registry.

On the Getting Started page, users can find video tutorials to learn more about different types of topographical data sources as well as introductory tutorials for use OpenTopography.

OpenTopography recently received a four-year $2.55 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)  which will help it to broaden its offerings.

Visit: OpenTopography

Screenshot of the OpenTopography map interface.
Screenshot of the OpenTopography map interface.


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.