The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B4-2022
02 Jun 2022
 | 02 Jun 2022


M. Abrams, Y. Yamaguchi, and R. Crippen

Keywords: Digital elevation model, stereo-correlation, global dataset, ASTER

Abstract. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is a 14-channel imaging instrument operating on NASA’s Terra satellite since 1999. ASTER’s visible–near infrared (VNIR) instrument, with three bands and a 15 m Instantaneous field of view (IFOV), is accompanied by an additional VNIR band using a second, backward-looking telescope. Collecting along-track stereo pairs, the geometry produces a base-to-height ratio of 0.6. In 2009, the ASTER Science Team released Version 1 of the global DEM (GDEM) based on stereo correlation of 1.2 million ASTER scenes. The DEM has 1 arc-second latitude and longitude postings (∼30 m) and employed cloud masking to avoid cloud-contaminated pixels. The GDEM covers all of the Earth’s land surface from 83 degrees north to 83 degrees south latitude. Version 2 was released in 2011, with notable improvements in coverage and accuracy. In 2019, the final, Version 3, was released; again improving on coverage and removing almost all artifacts. Th GDEM is a unique, global high spatial resolution digital elevation dataset available to all users at no cost. In addition, a second unique dataset was produced and released. The raster-based ASTER Global Water Body Dataset (ASTWBD) identifies the presence of permanent water bodies, and marks them as ocean, lake, or river. An accompanying DEM file indicates the elevation for each water pixel. To date, over 110+ million 1×1 degree GDEM tiles have been distributed.