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Best-ever topographic map of Earth released

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Best-ever topographic map of Earth released

Postby ERIC » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:20 pm

Best-ever topographic map of Earth released
Was created from images by Japanese instrument aboard NASA satellite

updated 10/17/2011 8:20:33 PM ET ... qEAbd77iEJ

The most complete digital topographic ever made of the Earth was released by NASA Monday.
The map, known as a global digital elevation model, was created from images collected by the Japanese Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or ASTER, instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite.

At 14,505 feet in elevation, California's Mt. Whitney, located in the Sierra Nevada
Mountains on the west side of Owens Valley, is the highest point in the contiguous
United States.

The 3-D effect is achieved by merging two slightly offset two-dimensional images (called stereo-pair images) to create depth.
The first version of the map was released by NASA and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in June 2009.

"The ASTER global digital elevation model was already the most complete, consistent global topographic map in the world," said Woody Turner, ASTER program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. "With these enhancements, its resolution is in many respects comparable to the U.S. data from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, while covering more of the globe."

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