Advanced discovery, processing, and visualization services for ICESat and ICESat-2 altimeter data

OpenAltimetry Update

OpenAltimetry will become a NASA Earth science application maintained and supported by the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC). The new address will be:

OpenAltimetry will provide access to ICESat-2 data when it launches in October 2023. It will provide access to ICESat/GLAS data the following month. Consequently, there will be an interruption to ICESat/GLAS data availability through OpenAltimetry from early October until early November.

When fully operational, the NASA Earth science OpenAltimetry application will continue to provide advanced discovery, processing, and visualization services for ICESat and ICESat-2 altimeter data. It will allow access to ICESat-2 Version 6 (upgraded from Version 5) data products.

Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) data will no longer be available through OpenAltimetry after early October 2023. Instead, users can find L2 data at OpenTopography at

Data Availability

Legacy ICESat data are available for the entire mission. Data for the new ICESat-2 mission were released to the public on May 28, 2019 and have limited availability. OpenAltimetry provides access to all ICESat-2 data for which there is a complete set of data products. This dataset will continue to expand as ICESat-2 collects new data in the years to come.


OpenAltimetry is a cyberinfrastructure platform for discovery, access, and visualization of data from NASA’s ICESat and ICESat-2 missions. These laser profiling altimeters are being used to measure changes in the topography of Earth’s ice sheets, vegetation canopy structure, and clouds and aerosols. A new paradigm for data access was required to serve the needs of a diverse scientific community seeking to take advantage of these unique observations. OpenAltimetry, which is the product of a collaboration between the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), UNAVCO, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego, was custom-built to meet these needs.