Ice Mapping App for Smartphones

Caitlin Dempsey


The European Space Agency has released a new iOS app for accessing ice data from the ESA’s CryoSat mission.  

Cryosat-2 was launched in April of 2010 to collect data to further understanding of the relationship between the world’s ice coverage and climate change.  Data collected from the satellite includes ice thickness and changes in the world’s ice coverage over both land and water.

What is CryoSatApp?

CryoSatApp is available for both iPhone and iPad devices and has four sections: mission description, a 3D model of the satellite, position tracking and data visualization.

 The mission description section contains videos, imagery, and information about the CryoSat mission.  

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The 3D model section allows users to explore the CryoSat-2 satellite including the instruments onboard.  

Screenshot of the CryoSatApp showing. a globe.
With the new CryoSatApp, elevation profiles are at your fingertips. Users can select the day and orbit from which they want to extract the data, and view Earth’s ice profile from that orbit. Credits: ACS/ESA

The position tracking section allows users to see the current position of the ice tracking satellite.  

The final section provides access to the data collected by the satellite

All geophysical parameters stored in the CryoSat products can be easily displayed at the touch of your fingertips as soon as they are generated on the ground. Users can select the day and orbit from which they want to extract the data, and view Earth’s ice profile from that orbit.

Data Visualization and Analysis Features

One of the key features of CryoSatApp is its ability to visualize CryoSat-2 data, offering users a clear and intuitive understanding of the information. The platform provides various visualization options, such as 2D maps and 3D plots, which allow users to explore the data from different perspectives.

CryoSatApp also includes analysis tools that enable users to perform basic data processing tasks, such as calculating sea ice thickness, ice sheet elevation changes, and glacier mass balance.

Access to geospatial data

Researchers can utilize CryoSatApp to access and analyze CryoSat-2 data, supporting their scientific investigations and contributing to the broader understanding of the Earth’s cryosphere and climate change.


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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.