G-LiHT Digital Terrain Model KML

PI: Bruce Cook


Goddard’s LiDAR, Hyperspectral, and Thermal Imager (G-LiHT) mission utilizes 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 Terrain Model Keyhole Markup Language (KML) data product (GLDTMK) is to provide LiDAR-derived bare earth elevation, aspect and slope on the EGM96 Geopotential Model. Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center began collecting data over locally-defined areas in 2011 and the collection will continue to grow as aerial campaigns are flown and processed.

GLDTMK data are processed as a Google Earth overlay KML file at a nominal 1 meter spatial resolution over locally-defined areas. A low resolution browse is also provided showing the digital terrain with a color map applied in JPEG 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<1 MB
Temporal ResolutionOther
Temporal Extent2011-06-30 to Present
Spatial ExtentNorth America
Coordinate SystemUniversal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
DatumWorld Geodetic System (WGS84)
File FormatKML
Geographic DimensionsVariable


Characteristic Description
Number of Science Dataset (SDS) Layers1
Pixel Size1 m

Layers / Variables

SDS Name Description Units Data Type Fill Value No Data Value Valid Range Scale Factor
Digital Terrain Model Digital Terrain Model Meters 32-bit floating point N/A NaN +/- 10^38 N/A

Product Quality

Detailed information on quality for the GLDTMK product can be found on the G-LiHT website.

About the image

G-LiHT Digital Terrain Model KML, acquired June 2012 over Bowie, Maryland.

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User Guide

G-LiHT Metadata

Using the Data

Access Data


DOI: 10.5067/Community/GLIHT/GLDTMK.001