Free Digital Elevation Models

The days of data shortage are gone. More and more DEM data sets are published under free licenses or as public domain. Through INSPIRE in Europe more and more will follow. The datasets below are not complete. This project will focus on free high resolution datasets with a spatial resolution of 30 meters and below on county/state scale. Have a look at the OpenDemSearcher map client on this website.

For low resolution DEMs here is a great map client.

Other sources, catalogues and lists for high resolution open DEM data:

- OpenTOPO: Community lidar datasets
- LAZIP: Download free and lossless LiDAR compression data
- Wikipedia National Lidar Dataset
- Wikipedia National Lidar Dataset (United States)
- ArcGIS OpenData Catalog
- OpenTerrain List

Please read the license carefully. Not all versions of a dataset might be available for free usage.

Name Region Licence Resolution
SRTM 3-Arc seconds world from 56° S to 60° N Public Domain 3-Arc seconds
SRTM 1-Arc second world from 56° S to 60° N , except the middle east (map) Public Domain 1-Arc second
GTOPO30 world Public Domain 30 Arc Seconds
GLOBE world Public Domain 30 Arc Seconds
CGIAR world from 56° S to 60° N non comercial diverse
MERIT DEM world from 60° S to 90° N non comercial 3-Arc seconds
Viewfinder Panoramas enhanced SRTM data world research and private use diverse
Allos World 3D - 30m world terms of use 30 m
govdata germany germany variable diverse slovenian public domain like 1 m
Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project antarctica citation diverse
CDED canada Public Domain diverse
EuroDEM europe license terms 2-Arc second
EU-DEM europe terms of use 1-Arc second
Europe Digital Terrain Model * europe Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International 30 m
OpenDataPortal Europe europe Legal Notice diverse
NED Alaska alaska Public Domain diverse

* For the Europe Digital Terrain Model, a canopy height map was used to create a DTM from different DSM sources. Buildings were not included in this model.