International Digital Elevation Model Service (IDEMS)

A newly developed International Digital Elevation Model Service (IDEMS) is now available under the umbrella of the International Gravity Field Service (IGFS) of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG). IDEMS provides a focus for distribution of data and information about various digital elevation models, including spherical-harmonic models of Earth’s global topography and lunar and planetary DEM. Related datasets, such as representation of Inland Water within Digital Elevation Models, and relevant software which are available in the public domain are also provided. IDEMS will provide the following DEM related products:

  1. Compilation, tutorial-style provision and maintenance of information on global gridded DEMs;
  2. Compilation of available national elevation data sets with information on data resolution, methods used for DEM generation and links to providers;
  3. Generation and dissemination of spherical-harmonic models of Earth’s global topography and bathymetry;
  4. Compilation of geodesy-relevant DEM-studies;
  5. Extension of the focus from Earth to Moon and terrestrial planets through compilation of information on available planetary topography models.

IDEMS is hosted and operated by Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) (http://www.esri.com/) under the lead of Mr Kevin M Kelly (Director) and Dr Jianbin Duan (Deputy Director). The new IDEMS website is available at: https://idems.maps.arcgis.com/home/index.html.

IDEMS offers two main digital elevation data services managed and maintained by Esri: Terrain and TopoBathy. These services provide online access to a global collection of multi-resolution and multi-source elevation and bathymetry data, including metadata and source information. This DEM data collection includes the best publicly available data and community contributed data with resolutions ranging from 1000 meters to 3 meters. The IDEMS terrain and bathymetry data are updated periodically as new datasets become available. Many other DEM data, not directly hosted by Esri, are also available on IDEMS.

Access to IDEMS will not require Esri software. However, for users with Esri software – which includes many academic institutions globally – a number of pre-defined, common terrain data analysis tools become available such as data aggregation, interpolation, density, buffering, flow analysis, and more.

IDEMS encourages contributions to the site from the geodetic community in any of the five product types listed above. Please contact the IDEMS Director or Deputy Director if you would like to contribute or recommend content you think appropriate for IDEMS.

Kevin M. Kelly (kevin_kelly@esri.com)
Director IDEMS
Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri)

Jianbin Duan (jDuan@esri.com)
Deputy Director IDEMS
Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri)


This document has been provided by the Communicational and Outreach Branch of the International Association of Geodesy.