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.

Note: The citation listed under the "Citing These Data" tab is a general citation for the entire GLIMS data collection. If you download data, please use the appropriate citation(s) listed in the file called 'CITATIONS_nnnn.txt', Where: nnnn = a number for the specific GLIMS data you used.

NSIDC does not archive these data.

  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glaciers > Glacier Extent
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:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):ASTER, ETM+
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1850
(updated 2012)
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):GLIMS, and National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Geographic Coverage

Please contact the data provider for the correct Data Citation for this data set.

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