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ASTER is capable of collecting in-track stereo using nadir- and aft-looking near infrared cameras. Since 2001, these stereo pairs have been used to produce single-scene (60- x 60-kilomenter (km)) digital elevation models (DEM) having vertical (root-mean-squared-error) accuracies generally between 10- and 25-meters (m). The methodology used by Japan's Sensor Information Laboratory Corporation (SILC) to produce the ASTER GDEM involves automated processing of the entire ASTER Level-1A archive. Stereo-correlation is used to produce over one million individual scene-based ASTER DEMs, to which cloud masking is applied to remove cloudy pixels. All cloud-screened DEMS are stacked and residual bad values and outliers are removed. Selected data are averaged to create final pixel values, and residual anomalies are corrected before partitioning the data into 1 degree (°) x 1° tiles. The ASTER GDEM covers land surfaces between 83°N and 83°S and is comprised of 22,702 tiles. Tiles that contain at least 0.01% land area are included. The ASTER GDEM is distributed as Geographic Tagged Image File Format (GeoTIFF) files with geographic coordinates (latitude, longitude). The data are posted on a 1 arc-second (approximately 30–m at the equator) grid and referenced to the 1984 World Geodetic System (WGS84)/ 1996 Earth Gravitational Model (EGM96) geoid.

Map of Earth