IDEMS – International Digital Elevation Model Service


IDEMS is a recently revived service of IAG operated by Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) ( The new IDEMS became operational on April 6, 2016. IDEMS provides a focus for distribution of data and information about digital elevation models, spherical-harmonic models of Earth’s global topography, lunar and planetary DEM, representation of Inland Water within Digital Elevation Models and relevant software and related datasets which are available in the public domain. IDEMS serves as a repository of links to DEM data providers rather than a DEM data storage facility.

The overall objectives for IDEMS are:

  • Compilation, tutorial-style provision and maintenance of information on global gridded DEMs
  • Compilation of available national elevation data sets with information on data resolution, methods used for DEM generation and links to providers
  • Generation and dissemination of spherical-harmonic models of Earth’s global topography and bathymetry
  • Compilation of geodesy-relevant DEM-studies
  • Extension of the focus from Earth to Moon and terrestrial planets through compilation of information on available planetary topography models


Currently (November 2023), IDEMS provides the following DEM related products:

Data TypeNo. Of data sources
Bathymetry and Ice Data13
Earth models5
DEM and Batyhmetry Studies6
Global DEM16
Regional DEM7
Planetary Terrain3
Software and Apps1

All products shown in the table are open-source. As mentioned, IDEMS serves as a repository of links to DEM data providers rather than a DEM data storage facility. This means that for each product, IDEMS will transfer user protocol to the website of the data provider, where the user can then directly access (download) the required data.

Access to IDEMS does not require Esri software. However, for users with Esri software – which includes many academic institutions globally – several pre-defined, common terrain data analysis tools become available such as data aggregation, interpolation, density, buffering, flow analysis, and more. IDEMS encourages contributions to the site from the geodetic community in any of the product types listed in the table above. Please contact the Director, Deputy Director or any member of the IDEMS Governing Board if you would like to contribute or recommend content you think appropriate for IDEMS.


IDEMS is an official IAG service and is one of the five centers of the International Gravity Field Service (IGFS):

  • BGI (Bureau Gravimétrique International), Toulouse, France
  • ISG (International Service for the Geoid), Milano, Italy
  • IGETS (International Geodynamics and Earth Tide Service), EOST, Strasbourg, France
  • ICGEM (International Center for Global Earth Models), Potsdam, Germany
  • IDEMS (International Digital Elevation Model Service), Esri, Redlands CA, USA

The Governing Board (GB) of IDEMS currently (April 2018) consists of five members who oversee the operation and general activities of the service. The GB is structured as follows:

Director of IDEMS:                          Mr Kevin M Kelly

Deputy Director of IDEMS:              Dr Fei Wang

IAG/IGFS representative:                Dr Riccardo Barzaghi

Advisory member:                            Dr Christian Hirt

Advisory member:                            Dr Michael Kuhn

Point of Contact

Kevin M. Kelly

Esri | 380 New York Street | Redlands CA  92373 | USA

Tel 909-369-1162  |

(last update 12.2023)