ETOPO1/ETOPO2/ETOPO5/TerrainBase Data Sets

ETOPO1 (Earth topography 1 arc minute) is the current global topographic data set.   You can Thin it to get equivalents to ETOPO2 (25% of the file size) or ETOPO5 (4% of the file size).   Even ETOPO5 cannot be displayed on screen with full resolution , so you only need ETOPO1 when zooming in significantly.

ETOPO5/2/1, unlike GTOPO30/Globe/DTED0/SRTM30, has elevation data over both land and water. GTOPO30 covers only the continents. The marine data primarily comes from radar altimeters.

ETOPO5 was initially generated by the US Navy from a digital data base of land and sea-floor elevations on a 5-minute latitude/longitude grid. The resolution of the gridded data varied from true 5-minute for the ocean floors, the U.S.A., Europe, Japan, and Australia to 1 degree in data-deficient parts of Asia, South America, northern Canada, and Africa. Data sources are as follows:

Center ETOPO on Pacific

Comparison of 30" global DEMs which will have slightly better resolution on land.

Data source, citation, and download.


Last revision 3/19/2019