Getting Started

What is OpenTopography?

OpenTopography facilitates access to topography data, tools and resources to advance our understanding of the Earth’s surface, vegetation, and built environment. We provide web-based access to high-resolution (meter to sub-meter scale), regional and global (2-90 m resolution) topography data acquired with lidar, radar and photogrammetry technologies. The data are co-located with on-demand processing tools to generate derivatives and visualizations that are particularly useful for Earth-Science applications. OpenTopography is funded by the Division of Earth Sciences at the US National Science Foundation.

Find and Download Data

Discover and access high resolution topography datasets via the Find Topography Data map interface.

View a listing of available high resolution topography datasets available via OpenTopography along with detailed metadata information.

Available datasets include: 

  • OpenTopography lidar coverage (red outlines on data map) - Free and Open to the public.
  • Community contributed data (purple outlines) - Free and Open Access to the public.
  • USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) (green outlines) - Academic Access*
  • NOAA Coastal Topographic Lidar (blue outlines) - Academic Access*
  • Multiple regional and global raster data (2-90 m resolution) - 10-90m are Free and Open to the public. Higher resolutions are Academic Access*.

    * Note on academic access restriction: Value add OpenTopography services for discovery, access processing, and visualization on Open datasets are only available to our academic research and education community. K-12 teachers, international academics, and informal educators can apply for access here. The academic limitation is necessary due to limited funding.
    These data are also available Open and Free to the public from other sources.
    - USGS 3DEP -
    NOAA Coastal Lidar -
    PGC ArcticDEM/REMA -

OpenTopography also provides a suite of REST APIs for accessing certain datasets. The APIs are documented using the OpenAPI specification and available via Swagger for visualizing and testing via the browser. 

OpenTopography Processing Tools

Explore on-demand processing tools that OpenTopography offers for hosted datasets.

Create an Account

Create a MyOpenTopo account to access a personalized workspace, see real-time status updates for your jobs, access previously submitted jobs, and increase your job size limits. You do not need an OpenTopography account to access and process lidar datasets.

What is Lidar?

Learn about what lidar is, how lidar works, and how lidar is used, in addition to other video resources on lidar.

Video Tutorials

Find Video Tutorials on OpenTopography tools, ArcGIS, and CloudCompare in addition to other Online Training.


View our FAQ Page for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to OpenTopography.

Find Community Tools

The OpenTopography Tool Registry provides a community populated clearinghouse of software, utilities, and tools oriented towards high-resolution topography data (e.g. collected with lidar technology) handling, processing, and analysis.