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Global inventory of glaciers

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Earlier this year a global inventory of glacier outlines, the “Randolph Glacier Inventory” (RGI), was released. The inventory, a result of international cooperation, provides a comprehensive set of glacier outlines and is based on new and existing published glacier outlines. It provides a supplement to the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space initiative (GLIMS) Glacier Database and, subject to registration and some constraints, is available for download (either the complete inventory or by region).

The inventory identifies 19 different polar regions, categorised into first and second order regions. Data are provided as shapefiles in geographic coordinates (longitude/latitude, in degrees) and are referenced to the WGS84 datum. The shapefiles contain the outlines of glaciers and glacier complexes, a collection of contiguous glaciers that meet at glacier divide, and are organized by first-order region, with one shapefile containing all glaciers for each region.

To provide easy access to the GLIMS Glacier Database, the GLIMS Web Mapping Service (WMS) has also been developed. Several layers in the WMS can be viewed and queried, including  Glacier Outlines, Regional Center Locations, and The World Glacier Inventory.