NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) is NASA’s data distribution system facilitated with NASA’s Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) is one of the DAAC providing various data sources to the public for free.  Currently, we can use the Alaska satellite facility (ASF) to download  high resolution DEM 12.5m data from ALOS PALSAR.

PALSAR is a L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which means it can acquire photos of all weather and observe all day and night. We will have 2 available product levels including high resolution product and low resolution product. Both high-and-low resolutions have DEM provided in 12.5 m as Int16 GeoTIFF format.

1. Access Earthdata and create an account or login.

2. Open up the ASF Data Search Platform. Click the User icon as shown in the red box below, and log in with the Earth Data credentials that you created in 1.


3. Click on the Dataset and select ALOS PALSAR. Draw your area of interest by dragging the mouse to create a rectangle bounding box. Select the Start Date and End Date.

4. If you want to download all these images programmatically, click on Add all results to queue. Then move to the Downloads icon on the top-right side. Click on the Data Download. And then you can download the python script to download all the data at once.

5. After unpacking the downloaded file, we will download DEM data file in .tif format. Use GIS software to open and process the obtained DEM data.

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Editor: AnhNTL – VidaGIS Company 

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