New public data release set to aid disaster management

16 November 2011

DEM – Comparison between the 9 Second (~250m) and 1 second (~30m) Digital Elevation Data.

DEM – Comparison between the
9 Second (~250m) and 1 second (~30m)
Digital Elevation Data.
© Geoscience Australia

Available for the first time to the private sector and the general public, Geoscience Australia is releasing Digital Elevation Models (DEM) at 1 second (30m resolution) derived from the NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.

Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP announced the release as part of Geoscience Australia’s custodian role of the national geoscience data collection that extends back to the turn of the century with the Commonwealth Lands and Surveys Group.

Digital elevation data describes Australia’s landforms and is crucial for addressing issues relating to the impacts of climate change, disaster management, water security, environmental management, and urban planning and infrastructure design.

The new 30m products improves our understanding of the national topography by producing digital elevation models at more than eighty times the resolution of the current national 9 second (250m) DEM”, Minister Ferguson said.

The models were produced as part of a collaboration between Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology (Bureau), the CSIRO and the Australian National University who have produced a number of derived products for applications such as surface water management and floodplain mapping.

“Individuals and organisations using the dataset will be able to model how water flows through a particular catchment and analyse, or visualise, the interactions of specific features of interest, such as wetlands, and the impacts of land use further up the catchment,” Minister Ferguson said when announcing the release.

Geoscience Australia and the Bureau are already working on phase 3 of a national scale dataset that will integrate the new DEM with regional scale (best available) topographic data. The end result will be a more accurate determination of water course activity across the country enabling communities to better prepare for water related natural hazard .

The 1 second DEM’s are available from the Geoscience Australia website. Sections of the data can be downloaded free, or the whole product suite can be ordered at cost of transfer through the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre.

Minister's media release.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013