The Global Multi-resolution Terrain Elevation Data (GMTED) 2010 dataset is the elevation dataset of choice for global and continental scale applications. GMTED2010 is the result of a joint development effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). GMTED2010 is a major improvement in consistency and vertical accuracy over GTOPO30.

Starting with ENVI 5.1, the software installation includes the GMTED2010 dataset for the mean elevation aggregation method at 30 arc-seconds spatial resolution in numerically lossless JPEG2000 format. ENVI provides the GMTED2010 dataset as a convenience for users who need a digital elevation model in their data visualization or image processing workflows. Use the File > Open World Data > Elevation (GMTED2010) menu option to open it.

The default paths are as follows:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Harris\ENVIxx\data\GMTED2010.jp2
  • Linux: /usr/local/harris/ENVIxx/data/GMTED2010.jp2
  • Macintosh: /Applications/harris/ENVIxx/data/GMTED2010.jp2

A world file (GMTED2010.j2w) and projection file (GMTED2010.prj) accompany the DEM.

RPC Orthorectification and Image Registration workflows automatically use this dataset as the default DEM.

An alternate version of the GMTED2010 dataset with 7.5 arc-seconds resolution is provided as a separate download from our website. This version is 1.54 GB in size and provides a higher spatial resolution global elevation model that can improve the accuracy of RPC Orthorectification and automatic tie-point generation in Image Registration (if at least one input image has RPC metadata).

To replace the GMTED2010 dataset in the ENVI software installation with this higher spatial resolution version, overwrite the GMTED2010.jp2, GMTED2010.j2w, and GMTED2010.prj files in the appropriate path listed above (may require administrative privileges).

The 7.5 arc-second version of GMTED2010 does not include elevation data for Greenland or Antarctica. If your study area involves these regions, use the default 30 arc-second version of GMTED2010 included with the ENVI software installation.


Danielson, J., and D. Gesch. "Global Multi-resolution Terrain Elevation Data 2010 (GMTED2010)." U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1073 (2011), 26 p.