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Topography revealed

High-resolution images taken in 2000 by NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will be released globally beginning in 2015. At the present time, only the United States can use the data. The announcement was made by the U.S. government during the September 2014 United Nations Climate Summit held in New York. The first release of topographic data—which are useful for studying erosion, coastal storms and the effects of climate change—will be for Africa. The datasets covering the other continents will be made available within one year. The next release of data will focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. “The public availability of SRTM topographic data will benefit international efforts to understand natural processes that shape our planet,” said NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan.