Palm Springs and Mount San Jacinto
January 23, 2002
The city of Palm Springs nestles at the base of Mount San Jacinto in this computer-generated perspective viewed from the east. The many golf courses in the area show up as irregular green areas while the two prominent lines passing through the middle of the image are Interstate 10 and the adjacent railroad tracks. The San Andreas Fault passes through the middle of the sandy Indio Hills in the foreground.
This 3-D perspective view was generated using topographic data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and an enhanced color Landsat 5 satellite image. Topographic expression is exaggerated two times. Yesterday NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL announced the release of high-resolution topographic data of the continental United States gathered during the February 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission -- a mission that is creating the world's best topographic map.
With the release, gigabytes of digital elevation-model data, sampled at an interval of one measurement every 30 meters (98 feet), are now available to selected science investigators, with 90-meter (295-foot) sample imagery available to the general public. Processing and distribution of validated U.S. digital topographic data will continue on a regular basis, with completion expected this spring.
When completed in fall 2002, more than 12 terabytes of data encompassing nearly 1 trillion measurements will have been processed, representing 80 percent of Earth's land mass between 60 degrees north and 56 degrees south of the equator. The areas mapped are home to approximately 95 percent of the world's population.