G-LiHT Digital Surface Model

PI: Bruce Cook


Goddard’s LiDAR, Hyperspectral, and Thermal Imagery (G-LiHT) mission is a portable, airborne imaging system that aims to simultaneously map the composition, structure, and function of terrestrial ecosystems. G-LiHT primarily focuses on a broad diversity of forest communities and ecoregions in North America, mapping aerial swaths over the Conterminous United States (CONUS), Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

The purpose of G-LiHT’s Digital Surface Model data product (GLDSMT) is to provide LiDAR-derived visualizations of elevation above bare earth. GLDSMT data is offered in multiple layers, including Digital Surface Model, Mean, Aspect, Rugosity, and Slope.

GLDSMT data are processed as multiple raster data products (GeoTIFFs) at a nominal 1 meter spatial resolution over locally defined areas. A low resolution browse is also provided showing the digital surface model with a color map applied in PNG format.

Metadata for individual flights is available as a pdf file and can be accessed through the Documentation button on this landing page. It contains information related to flight plans, acquisition details, field observations, and instrument specifications.

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Collection and Granule


Characteristic Description
File Size~125 MB
Temporal ResolutionOther
Temporal Extent2011-06-30 to Present
Spatial ExtentNorth America
Coordinate SystemUniversal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
DatumWorld Geodetic System (WGS84)
File FormatGeoTIFF
Geographic DimensionsVariable


Characteristic Description
Number of Science Dataset (SDS) Layers5
Pixel Size1 m

Layers / Variables

SDS Name Description Units Data Type Fill Value No Data Value Valid Range Scale Factor
Digital Surface Model Digital Surface Model Meters 32-bit floating point N/A NaN +/-10^38 N/A
Digital Surface Mean Digital Surface Mean Meters 32-bit floating point N/A NaN +/-10^38 N/A
Digital Surface Aspect Digital Surface Aspect Meters 32-bit floating point N/A NaN 0 to 360 N/A
Digital Surface Rugosity Digital Surface Rugosity Meters 32-bit floating point N/A NaN 0 to 17 N/A
Digital Surface Slope Digital Surface Slope Meters 32-bit floating point N/A NaN 0 to 90 N/A

Product Quality

Once available, detailed information on quality for the GLDSMT product can be found on the G-LiHT website.

About the image

G-LiHT Digital Surface Model image, acquired over Flagstaff, AZ on March 21, 2013.

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User Guide

G-LiHT Metadata

Using the Data

Access Data


DOI: 10.5067/Community/GLIHT/GLDSMT.001