I used some data from Nasa (Topographic & Bathymetric) to create a 3D (non-round) model of the Earth's surface, nothing insanely detailed. Those images are large enough for what I need, but they are greyscale images that results in only 256 possible values per pixel (even though they are TIFF, Nasa only used 8 bits per pixel! How frustrating!), and thus resulting in banding/jaggedness:

Jagged Heightmap Information

(This is the South-West coast of Australia's Continent Shelf)

So I desperately need something more accurate.

A 43,200x21,600+ spreadsheet of the Earth's surface's data (per longitude/latitude) would work great for what I'm doing, but I would bet that something other than a spreadsheet is what map services and scientist use.

What data format or file type do scientists or other software use for such information that I could search for? I was told that it's GeoTIFF, but isn't that what this was?

Any recommended sites would be appreciated. (Currently using C#) As such, an API could work, but surely somewhere someplace is the data that I can store on my hard drive and read the data in C#.

  • have you searched around on this site? opendata.stackexchange.com/search?tab=votes&q=bathymetric
    – philshem
    Nov 17, 2020 at 14:37
  • 1
    Bathymetry surveys are expensive, so they're only done in high resolution where there's a pressing need. If you add "geospatial" or "GIS" to your search terms, you will have an easier time finding relevant data. Just be aware that you won't get high resolution data for the entire world.
    – csk
    Nov 17, 2020 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


GEBCO is the global opensource bathymetry data source, and GMT (Generic Mapping Tools) is the open source visualisation tool, another option for open source visualisation is QGIS.




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