5.B.v. GLOBE's Development as Additional DEMs Are Created
GLOBE plans to continue seeking additional data, continue enhancing data quality and documentation, and continue maintaining GLOBE products until the U.S. Department of Defense/NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mapper (SRTM) mission or other projects produce DEMs that exceed GLOBE’s standards and capabilities.
It is hopeful that the SRTM mission, currently scheduled for launch in late 1999, will achieve its objective of a publicly unrestricted 3" DEM for 60o North to South latitudes by 2001-2002, possibly supplemented by similar data for higher latitudes. It is also hopeful that at least some areas of the world will see 1"-gridded data released to the public from SRTM and from other high-resolution imaging satellites being developed by several companies.
However, while SRTM is currently funded, there is no guarantee of its successful completion. Beyond completion of its DEM mapping task, SRTM data must receive a thorough quality assessment which could be a worthwhile contribution provided by an independent effort like GLOBE's.
GLOBE may be put to rest after the full global SRTM (with enhancements) 3" DEM is complete. However, it is possible that GLOBE coverage may remain the best widely-accessible data for parts of the world well after completion of the SRTM mission.