Data Set ID:

GLIMS Glacier Database, Version 1

Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) is an international initiative with the goal of repeatedly surveying the world's estimated 200,000 glaciers. GLIMS uses data collected by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument aboard the Terra satellite and the LANDSAT series of satellites, along with historical observations.

The GLIMS initiative has created a unique glacier inventory, storing information about the extent and rates of change of all the world's mountain glaciers and ice caps. The GLIMS Glacier Database was built up from data contributions from many glaciological institutions, which are managed by Regional Coordinators, who coordinate the production of glacier mapping results for their particular region. The GLIMS Glacier Database provides students, educators, scientists, and the public with reliable glacier data from these analyses. New glacier data are continually being added to the database.

The GLIMS Glacier Viewer was developed to provide the public with easy access to the GLIMS Glacier Database. This Web application allows users to view and query several thematic layers, including glacier outlines, Regional Coordinator institution locations, the World Glacier Inventory, and more. GLIMS data can be downloaded into a number of GIS-compatible formats, including ESRI Shapefiles, MapInfo tables, Geographic Mark-up Language (GML), and Keyhole Mark-up Language (KML) suitable for viewing in Google Earth.

This is the most recent version of these data.

Version Summary:

Initial release

COMPREHENSIVE Level of Service

Data: Data integrity and usability verified; data customization services available for select data

Documentation: Key metadata and comprehensive user guide available

User Support: Assistance with data access and usage; guidance on use of data in tools and data customization services

See All Level of Service Details

Data Format(s):
  • GML
  • Keyhole Markup Language (.kml)
  • WFS
  • WMS
  • ESRI Shapefile
  • ASCII Text
Spatial Coverage:
N: 90, 
S: -90, 
E: 180, 
W: -180
Platform(s):LANDSAT-7, Terra
Spatial Resolution:
  • Varies x Varies
Sensor(s):ASTER, ETM+
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1850
Temporal ResolutionNot applicableMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):GLIMS Consortium, .

Geographic Coverage

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As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

GLIMS Consortium, . 2005. GLIMS Glacier Database, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

Literature Citation

As a condition of using these data, we request that you acknowledge the author(s) of this data set by referencing the following peer-reviewed publication.

  • Raup, B. H., A. Racoviteanu, S. S. Khalsa, C. Helm, R. Armstrong, and Y. Arnaud. 2007. The GLIMS geospatial glacier database: A new tool for studying glacier change, Global and Planetary Change. 56. 101-110.

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