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The GLIMS Glacier Viewer

The GLIMS Glacier Viewer is an interactive map which gives a view of data in the GLIMS Glacier Database. A number of different layers in this interface can be viewed and spatially queried including: GLIMS Glacier Outlines, ASTER Footprints, Regional Center Locations, the World Glacier Inventory, the Fluctuations of Glaciers, and others. The GLIMS Glacier Outlines layer contains the results of glacier mapping within the GLIMS initiative. Each polygon in this layer represents the extent of a particular glacier at a specific time, as well as other possible features of the glacier such as the extent of debris cover or the location of supra-glacial and pro-glacial lakes. The GLIMS Glacier outlines can also can be downloaded as ESRI Shapefiles, MapInfo tables, Geographic Mark-up Language (GML) files, Keyhole Mark-up Language (KML, Google Earth), and the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) multi-segment format.

Note that the GLIMS Glacier Viewer requires 'pop-ups', Java, and Javascript to be enabled in your browser.

If you don't already have an updated version of the Java Runtime Environment please download the latest version at http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

Note: The GLIMS Glacier Database is still incomplete in a number of regions, e.g. Greenland, Antarctic Peninsula, etc.. See details.

GLIMS Text Search Interface

This interface provides access to the GLIMS Glacier Database through a text-based search form. The paramaters one can search on, as well as the result fields that can returned, are customizable. This allows the user to search on and return only the criteria that are relevant to their needs.

Query results in this interface can be downloaded individually or as part of the larger result set. Downloaded data are available in the same formats as from the mapserver interface (above).

Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Services

Another way of accessing data within the GLIMS Glacier Database is through the Open Geospatial Consortium's (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) protocols. These services allow access to GLIMS Glacier data directly from desktop GIS software products such as ArcGIS, GRASS, or Google Earth, as well as other applications such as MapServer. The following URLs can be used to connect your OGC-compliant application to the GLIMS Glacier Database.

To access the capabilties (list of available layers) of the GLIMS Glacier Database, use these URLs:

http://glims.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/glims_ogc?service=WMS&request=GetCapabilities&version=1.1.1 (For WMS)
http://glims.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/glims_ogc?service=WFS&request=GetCapabilities&version=1.1.1 (For WFS)

If you have any comments on the data in the GLIMS Glacier Database, please send them to

Basic statistics of the GLIMS Glacier Database.

Number of outlines (snapshots)182183
Earliest analysis is dated1870-01-01
Most recent analysis is dated2011-11-09
Number of glaciers160693
Area of glacier coverage (latest snapshot), km2562341
Number of glaciers with multi-temporal coverage19089