Copernicus DEM – Global and European Digital Elevation Model (COP-DEM: EEA-10, GLO-30 and GLO-90

Copernicus DEM: a new digital elevation model for the Copernicus programme

What is the Copernicus DEM?

The Copernicus DEM is a Digital Surface Model (DSM) which represents the surface of the Earth including buildings, infrastructure and vegetation. This DEM is derived from an edited DSM named WorldDEM™. You can find all the information related to the Copernicus DEM on the Dataset Composition section. A technical description is available here.

What are the instances of the Copernicus DEM archived in PRISM?

The following schema provides an overview of the available Copernicus DEM instances archived in PRISM.
See dataset details here:

Who can access the Copernicus DEM instances?

Eligibility to access the various instances of the Copernicus DEM depends on user’s category;

The Copernicus DEM with global coverage at 30 and 90 meters resolution (GLO-30 and GLO-90) instances are openly available to any registered user and archived under the following dataset-ids: COP-DEM_GLO-90-DGED; COP-DEM_GLO-90-DTED; COP-DEM_GLO-30-DGED; COP-DEM_GLO-30-DTED. The COPDEM EEA-10-R and COPDEM GLO-30-R  Datasets are restricted to eligible entities. Check the Access rights to Copernicus DEM Datasets section.

Where can I find the information on the data provenance of the COP-DEM products?

The Source Data Layer (SRC) is a vector file in .kml format archived in the product itself, containing the information of the SAR data used for DEM processing. This file includes information about the acquisition ID, data scene number, data acquisition date and time as well as information about the height of ambiguity of the data scenes.

How can I access the Copernicus DEM products?

Copernicus DEM data at the three available spatial resolutions: 10m (left), 30m (centre) and 90m (right)
  • Register
  • Sign the license
  • Use Panda or FTP
  • The step by step guideline on how to access to the Copernicus DEM is presented in the following video tutorial.


To download a limited number of Copernicus DEM products, we would recommend to use the Panda Catalogue. If you need to download a big number of files, you can do it via FTP

An important purpose for the Copernicus DEM will be the orthorectification and the atmospheric correction of Sentinel-2 data products, providing enhanced accuracy especially over mountainous regions. In addition, the Copernicus DEM will provide a common elevation layer for all Copernicus projects including Core Services and Contributing Missions. The homogeneous Copernicus DEM datasets will therefore ensure better consistency across the various Copernicus products and facilitate their combination over time and space.

In order to facilitate a wide range of usages, INSPIRE-compliant metadata and numerous additional information layers are provided, such as masks containing information about water bodies, height errors and accuracy statistics. Users have also access to detailed technical documentation (Product HandbookValidation Report) on the different products.

The Copernicus DEM is based on the SAR-derived WorldDEM dataset provided by Airbus and acquired in close cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) by the TanDEM-X mission. WorldDEM is a standardised global and high-precision Digital Surface Model (DSM) with no regional or national border divides. It covers regions beyond 60° North and South without any missing areas, even in the heavily clouded Equatorial belt, mountainous or cliffy areas. The global WorldDEM data underwent a thorough editing and quality assurance process to ensure a homogenous quality regardless of the position on the globe.

Corine Land Cover 2018 (vector) – version 2020_20u1, May 2020

Corine Land Cover 2018 (CLC2018) is one of the Corine Land Cover (CLC) datasets produced within the frame the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service referring to land cover / land use status of year 2018.

CLC service has a long-time heritage (formerly known as “CORINE Land Cover Programme”), coordinated by the European Environment Agency (EEA). It provides consistent and thematically detailed information on land cover and land cover changes across Europe.

CLC datasets are based on the classification of satellite images produced by the national teams of the participating countries – the EEA members and cooperating countries (EEA39). National CLC inventories are then further integrated into a seamless land cover map of Europe.

The resulting European database relies on standard methodology and nomenclature with following base parameters: 44 classes in the hierarchical 3-level CLC nomenclature; minimum mapping unit (MMU) for status layers is 25 hectares; minimum width of linear elements is 100 metres. Change layers have higher resolution, i.e. minimum mapping unit (MMU) is 5 hectares for Land Cover Changes (LCC), and the minimum width of linear elements is 100 metres. The CLC service delivers important data sets supporting the implementation of key priority areas of the Environment Action Programmes of the European Union as e.g. protecting ecosystems, halting the loss of biological diversity, tracking the impacts of climate change, monitoring urban land take, assessing developments in agriculture or dealing with water resources directives. CLC belongs to the Pan-European component of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (, part of the European Copernicus Programme coordinated by the European Environment Agency, providing environmental information from a combination of air- and space-based observation systems and in-situ monitoring.

Additional information about CLC product description including mapping guides can be found at CLC class descriptions can be found at

For more information:

Earth Observation in iGEO2022 Irish Geology, Environmental & Ocean Sciences Early Career Symposium

We are happy to announce that iGEO Irish Geology, Environmental & Ocean Sciences Early Career Symposium is back and is being planned for June 2022.

We are delighted to invite you to this event organized by early career geoscientists (ECGs) for ECGs is open to all ECGs working within academia, industry and government. This 2 day event will be an in-person event and held for the first time at University College Cork (UCC). 

While focusing on the most important issues directly affecting, and identified by ECGs, iGEO2022 is unique in this respect – a dedicated event organized by, and for, early-career geoscientists in Irish geoscience.

This is an opportunity to collaborate and benefit from the multidisciplinary nature of research across Ireland.

For further information please visit our website:

We would love to get your opinion on what you would like to see in iGEO2022 – now is the time to lobby for Earth Observation applications. Below is a link to a quick survey on this. It will also offer you the opportunity to sign up to the dedicated mailing list for this event.

You would engage with academics and professionals, learn about latest trends and technologies in STEM, meet potential employers, promote yourselves and network with peers.

You would also engage like in a “career fair”, avail of workshops on soft skills and give lightning talks, apply in practice in presentation and communication skills, initiate collaborations.

Also, we will do our best to keep low fees for participants: iGEO2020 was 30 euro including transportation to conference venue, see more info here from last iGEO2020, fieldtrip at 60 euro covering 2 nights’ accommodation, transportation, 2 breakfast and dinner. Take a look at the last iGEO, Twitter handle @iGEOECS.

Many thanks and looking forward to seeing you in 2022!

iGEO2022 Committee

New Remote Sensing Jobs

I’m recruiting 2 new remote sensing researchers as part of TerrainAI. This is an exciting opportunity for researchers to join an SFI/Microsoft funded project with 40 other researchers improving our understanding of land based GHG mitigation.

Terrain-AI – Uncovering new insights to support effective climate change decision making

The posts are in Dublin and full details are here:

TheHirelab | match, select and employ…

Great 2-minute tips for EO imagery processing

While browsing for information, I came across this Youtube channel providing Information and educational videos on Hexagon Geospatial’s ERDAS IMAGINE and Safe Software’s FME software (About).

Great for curious students and not only! Take a look!

 An indicative history of green cover since the 1980’s

Map of the Month for July from Teagasc presents an interim output from a remote sensing study looking to see how often fields are bare of vegetation, due to harvesting or re-seeding. Using the Teagasc archive of satellite imagery going back to the 1980’s we can use vegetation indices to give an indication the number of times a every field in the country has been bare. This will be a useful baseline dataset in many applications like GHG accounting, biodiversity, and landuse  studies.

EPA’s Research on Remote Sensing of Aerosols, Clouds and Wind

EPA’s report on Remote Sensing of Aerosols, Clouds and Wind at Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station is now available, focusing on identifying pressures on air quality, weather and climate but also on economy and human health, informing policy and developing solutions.

Authors: Jana Preißler and Colin O’Dowd

The power of remote sensing lies in its ability to automatically and continuously characterise parts of the atmosphere that can be far away from the sensor, e.g. at high altitudes from the ground in the case of this study. This fellowship focused on continuous high-resolution (vertical and temporal) profiling of the atmosphere over Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station using active and passive ground-based remote sensing techniques.

In addition to contributing to high-impact research studies in past years, remote sensing data were also sent to the European-scale networks Cloudnet and E-Profile for joint processing and large-scale studies. The existence of such networks underlines the importance of ground-based remote sensing of the atmosphere at a continental scale. Remote sensing at Mace Head provides a large part of the Irish contribution to those pan-European networks.

Remote Sensing of Lightning Strikes

We’ve had a few days of summer storms and lightning strikes leading to blackouts and animal deaths. If you want see where lightning is happening here and now, then real-time lightning detection has the answer. The detectors measure Very Low Frequency radio waves and triangulate bursts to locate lightning strikes. Met Eireann feeds data (from the valentia island observatory) into a system run by UK met office and shows the results on its landing page map every 15 mins. My favorite site is which is a service run by volunteers and hobbyists across the world. You can follow lightning storms as they happen and it has audio to mimic strikes in the area you are looking at.;t=3;s=0;o=0;b=0.00;ts=0;tsc=1;


NDMI in the past ten years

In the latest Teagasc Map of the Month ( I used MODIS Terra surface reflectance data to calculate the Normalised Difference Moisture Index (NDMI) as a proxy for the spatial variation in the effect of the spring 2020 drought in Ireland. The specific measure I used was the difference in the average NDMI in May 2020 to a long-term May average (2009 to 2019). The map showed well the spatial variation. To better highlight the underlying data I produced an animation of the calculated NDMI averages for May of each year since 2009. Brown tones indicate lower NDMI values (drier) while blue tones indicate higher NDMI (wetter).


The animation draws a very different picture to the map of the NDMI difference, with bogs and upland showing much lower NDMI values than the rest of the country. The reason is that NDMI is an index for leaf water content, based on the near and short-wave infrared reflectance, and in the absence of green vegetation (such as in cut bogs and sparse uplands) will be lower.