Great news!

Finland has been ranked 5th in the 2016 'Global Open Data Index'. The National Map from Maanmittauslaitos / National Land Survey of Finland was ranked at 1st place globally. Read more about it here!

Resource categories

Remote Sensing

Satellite data resources

USGS Earth Explorer (operated by USGS, United States Geological Survey)

Free NASA Landsat data, DEM data (incl. ASTER GDEM & SRTM) as well as other GIS products and services, including Hyperion from EO-1, MODIS and AVHRR data.

ESA’s  Sentinel Mission (operated by ESA,European Space Agency)

Sentinels Scientific Data Hub is ESA official website. Sentinel data provide a powerful supplementary for Landsat data.

NOAA CLASS (operated by NOAA,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

NOAA data center supports POES, DMSP, GOES, MetOp, and Jason-2 and so on satellite data.

NASA Reverb (operated by NASA,National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

NASA Reverb data center provides data including Aqua, Terra, Aura, TRMM, Calipso, NASA DC, JASON, ENVISAT, ALOS, METEOSAT, GOES, ICESAT, GMS, Landsat, NIMBUS, SMAP, RADARSAT, NOAA satellites, and GPS satellites and so on.

Earth Observation Link (EOLi) (operated by ESA,European Space Agenc)

EOLi provides the following data: Envisat, ERS, IKONOS, DMC, ALOS, SPOT, Kompsat, Proba, IRS, and SCISAT and so on.

National Institute for Space Research (INPE) (operated by Brazil and China Space Agencies)

INPE mainly provides data from CBERS-2 and CBERS-2b. They also include project data such as CBERS, Landsat, ResourceSat, S-NPP, Terra & UK-DMC 2 and so on.

Bhuvan Indian Geo-Platform of ISRO

Data from IMS-1, Cartosat, OceanSat, and ResourceSat are available for India area.

JAXA’s Global ALOS 3D World (operated by JAXA,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

ALOS World 3D (DEM data) recently opened to public.

NOAA Data Access Viewer (operated by NOAA)

NOAA Data Access Viewer is a successor of Aerial Photo Ordering System. It mainly includes GIS data such as images and elevation information.

Vito Vision (operated by ESA & BELSPO)

It provides coarse vegetation data, mainly including PROBA-V, SPOT-Vegetation, and METOP and so on.

Global Land Cover Facility

Data resources include Landsat、MODIS and AVHRR


DigitalGlobe is a commercial agency. Data are partly open to the public.

DigitalGlobe’s data like WorldView-3 images have a resolution up to 31cm. It means that from satellite image you are able to read a car register namber! DigitalGlobe’s high spatial resolution data with short wave infrared (SWIR) spectrum band can provide information which human is not recognizable.

BlackBridge/Geo-Airbus (operated by BlackBridge/Geo-Airbus)

Data are partly free. Located in Scilicon Valley, Planet Labs purchased BlackBridge in 2015. The core product of BlackBridge is RapidEye. BlackBridge and Geo-Airbus provide data include SPOT, Pleiades, RapidEye, and TerraSAR and so on.

UNAVCO Research Data (operated by UNAVCO)

Data are from SAR, mainly applied for flood, plate tectonics, and earthquakes, etc.

Free Remote Sensing Software / Tools

Commercial Software in Remote Sensing


Bentley ContextCapture

Input: image, laser scan

Function: registration, meshing


Input: image, laser scan

Function: registration, meshing


Agisoft Photoscan

Input: image

Function: meshing


metigo 3D

Input: image, laser scan

Function: meshing, sections, ortho-projections, mapping


Autodesk 123D Catch

Input: image

Function: meshing


Input: image

Function: meshing

Comparison of photogrammetry software



Free LiDAR data sources

Free LiDAR software / tools


Open source tools for processing, analyzing and visualizing LiDAR data


Open source 3D point cloud and mesh processing software


Digital Terrain Model generation, vegetation detection or PLS-CADD modelling


Examine LiDAR and other raster- and vector-based geospatial datasets, including data from photogrammetric and IFSAR sources.


LIDAR data conversion, analysis, and display software suite. 3-dimensional terrain and canopy surface models and LIDAR data to be fused with more traditional 2-dimensional imagery (e.g., orthophotographs, topographic maps, satellite imagery, GIS shapefiles).


A collection of tools to classify, tile, convert, filter, raster, triangulate, contour, clip, and polygonize LiDAR data.


Generate Digital Terrain Model (DTM) , Digtial Surface Model (DSM), Canopy Height Model (CHM)


Process discrete-return LiDAR data in forested environments

Merrick’s Mars Viewer

Free viewing application supports basic LiDAR data navigation and 3D visualization

Online LiDAR viewer

View your point cloud files online in your browser. Supported formats include LAS and XYZ point clouds.

Quick Terrain Reader

Visualizing point clouds and pre-built digital elevation models (DEMs) in a fast and intuitive way.


Several modules for point cloud processing, import/export, conversion, tools(point cloud cutter/thinning/transform etc), analysis(cluster analysis for point clouds, point cloud reclassifier etc), visualization (a 3d viewer for point clouds.)

Commercial LiDAR software


Free GIS data sources

Natural Earth Data 

Data types: Cultural, physical and raster (basemap) data.

USGS Earth Explorer

Data types: Remote sensing data (Landsat, global land cover…)

OpenStreetMap (OSM)

Data types: High spatial resolution cultural vector data. (buildings, land use, railroads, roads, waterways)

NASA’s Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) 

Data types: Socioeconomic data (agriculture, climate, conservation, governance, hazards, health, infrastructure, land use, marine and coastal, population, poverty, remote sensing, sustainability, urban and water)

Open Topography

Data types: LiDAR (90% United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and Puerto Rico)

 United Nations Environmental Data Explorer’s online database 

Data types: Freshwater, population, forests, emissions, climate, disasters, health and GDP spatial and non-spatial data.

FAO GeoNetwork

Data types: Agriculture, fisheries, land resource GIS data.

NASA’s Earth Observations (NEO)

All raster grids: atmosphere, energy, land, life and ocean GIS data.

Sentinels Scientific Data Hub

Raster data – 11 channels from Sentinel-2. Synthetic aperture radar from Sentinel-1.


Data types: Cultural vector data at country level, global climate data, biodiversity and crop collection data

International Steering Committee for Global Mapping website

Boundaries, drainage, transportation, population centers, elevation, land cover, land use and vegetation.

Free GIS software / tools