Global Solid Earth Topography

Alternate link for visualizing topography


This interactive Flash-based viewer shows solid Earth topography (land height and sea depth) of the entire globe based on the ETOPO2 data set. Coloration and relief (texture) on the map provide indications of elevation. Warmer colors are indicative of higher elevations and cooler colors of lower elevations.

The resolution of the data provided is such that each pixel corresponds to 2 minutes of latitude and longitude (when fully zoomed in), at the equator this translates to about 3.7 kilometers (2.3 miles). See the references section for more information on this data.

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This zoomable interactive map shows elevation in a global and local manner through the tools at the bottom of the visualizer.

General Controls

+ / -

These tools control the zoom in and out functions for the map. Try clicking on the plus button and see the view zoom in on the region selected. Clicking on locations on the map will also allow for zooming in.


The left, right, up, down arrow buttons provide navigation of the map. Experiment with these tools to find different areas of interest. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard. In addition, try clicking on the main map and dragging to move around.

Zoom Out Button

The last button on the toolbar allows for zooming back out to the starting state of the viewer.

Arrow Slider

The slider is placed above the set of controls just described. Dragging this arrow to the right will zoom further into the map, where dragging to the left will zoom out.

Mini Map

The mini-map in the top left is another way to navigate to different locations on the globe. The red rectangle indicates the current area being viewed. This rectangle can be dragged to any location on the mini map to change locations.


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NOAA's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on ETOPO2

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