HydroSHEDS

By | July 16, 2008

HydroSHEDS (Hydrological data and maps based on SHuttle Elevation Derivatives at multiple Scales) provides hydrographic information in a consistent and comprehensive format for regional and global-scale applications. HydroSHEDS offers a suite of geo-referenced data sets (vector and raster), including stream networks, watershed boundaries, drainage directions, and ancillary data layers such as flow accumulations, distances, and river topology information.

HydroSHEDS is derived from elevation data of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) at 3 arc-second resolution. The original SRTM data have been hydrologically conditioned using a sequence of automated procedures. Existing methods of data improvement and newly developed algorithms have been applied, including void-filling, filtering, stream burning, and upscaling techniques. Manual corrections were made where necessary. Preliminary quality assessments indicate that the accuracy of HydroSHEDS significantly exceeds that of existing global watershed and river maps.

The goal of developing HydroSHEDS was to generate key data layers to support regional and global watershed analyses, hydrological modeling, and freshwater conservation planning at a quality, resolution and extent that had previously been unachievable. Available resolutions range from 3 arc-second (approx. 90 meters at the equator) to 5 minute (approx. 10 km at the equator) with seamless near-global extent.

HydroSHEDS has been developed by the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) of the University of Kassel, Germany. Major funding for this project was provided to WWF by JohnsonDiversey, Inc.

HydroSHEDS data are free for non-commercial use. For more information on HydroSHEDS please visit http://www.worldwildlife.org/hydrosheds (homepage at WWF) and http://hydrosheds.cr.usgs.gov (data download and technical information).

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