May 26, 2022

Reference: New Tool Allows Users to Explore Mountains Worldwide

From the USGS:

The Global Mountain Explorer can help a variety of users – from hikers planning their next adventure, to scientists, resource managers and policy makers seeking information that is often sparse in these prominent yet often understudied landscapes. Mountains occupy anywhere from 12 to 31 percent of the land surface of the Earth, but despite their importance, surprisingly few attempts have been made to scientifically define and map these regions worldwide with detail.

“This product allows anyone with access to the Internet to explore where mountains are, whether they are low or high, scattered or continuous, snowy or snow-free,” said USGS ecosystems geographer Roger Sayre, who led the project. “Mountain Explorer users can visualize and compare in one place and for the first time the three major global mountain maps that have been produced,” he added.

The USGS developed the Global Mountain Explorer, in partnership with ESRI, and three organizations at the University of Bern in Switzerland – the Center for Development and Environmentthe Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment, and the Mountain Research Initiative. The tool was developed as part of a Group on Earth Observations initiative to accurately delineate mountain regions using best available data. It is intended to provide information on the global distribution and a variety of mountain data with a resolution 16 times more detailed than previous mapping efforts.


Users can select an area by zooming in or by typing a place name like Mt. Kilimanjaro to view its elevation and type. They can also select from a number of backdrops — such as satellite images, topographic maps or political boundary maps — on which to display the different types of mountain classes.

Direct to The Global Mountain Explorer

Read the Complete Launch Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.