GLIMS Current: Global Land Ice Measurements From Space

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Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) is an international initiative with the goal of repeatedly surveying the world's estimated 200,000 glaciers.

The project seeks to create a globally comprehensive inventory of land ice, including measurements of glacier area, geometry, surface velocity, and snow line elevation. To perform these analyses, the GLIMS project uses satellite data, primarily from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), as well as historical information derived from maps and aerial photographs.

Each feature in this dataset is a polygonal boundary of a glacier at the time of analysis. A few glacier IDs have hundreds of distinct rows over time.

This dataset is a snapshot of the inventory of glacier boundaries as of June 7, 2023, providing over 1,100,000 rows.

Table Schema

Table Schema

Name Type Description
analysts STRING

Name(s) of data contributor(s)

anlys_id DOUBLE

ID of a glacier at a particular time

anlys_time STRING

When the analysis was done


Area of the glacier in the plane of the map projection in square kilometers

chief_affl STRING

Affiliation of the chief of the regional center

db_area DOUBLE

Same as 'area', but recomputed by the GLIMS project

geog_area STRING

Name of geographic region covered by the regional center

glac_id STRING

The GLIMS glacier ID

glac_name STRING

The glacier name. ~80% of the rows equal 'None'

glac_stat STRING

Glacier status, either 'exists' or 'None'

length DOUBLE

Length of the glacier perimeter in meters

line_type STRING

Glacier record type, e.g. 'glac_bound' for glaciers, or other values for internal rocks, snowlines, water features, etc.

local_id STRING

ID assigned by the contributing institution or regional center

max_elev DOUBLE

Highest part of the glacier, in meters above sea level

mean_elev DOUBLE

Mean elevation of the glacier, in meters above sea level

min_elev DOUBLE

Lowest part of the glacier, in meters above sea level

parent_id STRING

ID of the glacier that is the parent of this glacier

primeclass DOUBLE

WGMS glacier classification number

proc_desc STRING

Description of processing done on this record

rc_id DOUBLE

ID used by the regional center

rec_status STRING

Record status

release_dt STRING

Date data was released, in YYYY-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss format

src_date STRING

Date of source imagery used to create the outline

subm_id DOUBLE

The submission ID assigned by GLIMS

submitters STRING

Name(s) of data submitter(s)

wgms_id STRING

World Glacier Monitoring Service ID

width DOUBLE

Width of the glacier in meters

Terms of Use

Terms of Use

For the creation of any reports, publications, new data sets, derived products, or services resulting from the data set, users should cite: GLIMS and NSIDC (2005, updated 2013): Global Land Ice Measurements from Space glacier database. Compiled and made available by the international GLIMS community and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder CO, U.S.A., doi:10.7265/N5V98602


Explore with Earth Engine

Code Editor (JavaScript)

var dataset = ee.FeatureCollection('GLIMS/current');
var visParams = {
  palette: ['gray', 'cyan', 'blue'],
  min: 0.0,
  max: 10.0,
  opacity: 0.8,
var image = ee.Image().float().paint(dataset, 'area');
Map.setCenter(-35.618, 66.743, 7);
Map.addLayer(image, visParams, 'GLIMS/current');
Map.addLayer(dataset, null, 'for Inspector', false);
Open in Code Editor

Visualize as a FeatureView

A FeatureView is a view-only, accelerated representation of a FeatureCollection. For more details, visit the FeatureView documentation.

Code Editor (JavaScript)

var fvLayer = ui.Map.FeatureViewLayer('GLIMS/current_FeatureView');

var visParams = {
  color: {
    property: 'area',
    mode: 'linear',
    palette: ['gray', 'cyan', 'blue'],
    min: 0.0,
    max: 10.0
  opacity: 0.8,
  polygonStrokeOpacity: 0


Map.setCenter(-35.618, 66.743, 7);
Open in Code Editor