TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements) is an Earth observation radar mission
that consists of a SAR interferometer built by two almost identical satellites flying in close formation.
They have been acquiring data for the generation of the global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) between
2011 and 2015 in stripmap single polarization (HH) mode. For more information on the TanDEM-X mission,
please visit the
TanDEM-X project page.
The global dataset of quicklook images, representing a spatially averaged version of the original full resolution data at a ground independent pixel spacing of 50 m x 50 m, has been used for the generation of the TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest (FNF) Map. The TanDEM-X FNF Map offered here for download has therefore a pixel spacing of 1.6 arcseconds (arsec), which corresponds to approximately 50m at the equator.
This information page gives an overview about the basic product specifications of the TanDEM-X FNF Map and explains how to download the TanDEM-X 50m FNF data sets. The license terms for the use of the data is automatically accepted by downloading the data. At the end of this page, suggestions for further readings and literature, a FAQ, tips for software tools, and contact information can be found.
The following chapter gives a short overview about the essential products specifications of the TanDEM-X FNF Map. The TanDEM-X 50m FNF Map offered for download follows in the most aspects this specification. DLR recommends for in-depth reading the download of the latest TanDEM-X FNF Map specification document, which can be found here: TanDEM-X FNF Map Product Description.
The TanDEM-X 50m FNF Map is delivered in a compressed ZIP (*zip) format.
Each zip file contains a main folder and 2 subfolders.
In the main folder there are:
The raster values in the FNF Map GeoTIFF file are:
For further details on the raster values for the auxiliary information layers, see the TanDEM-X FNF Map Product Description.
To get access to the products, you accept the user license, which can be found as PDF document here:
License agreement regarding the use of the TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Map data product
Lizenzvereinbarung über die Nutzung des Datenprodukts TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Karte
For the downloading of TanDEM-X 50m FNF products three options (either via HTTPS or FTPES), are available, depending on your preferences, your machine, your system settings and the amount of data you want to download. Solely encrypted connections are supported; plain HTTP or FTP download methods are not supported.
This download option is recommended for users who wish to download a few products and who prefer the usage of a map driven interface for the selection of the products.
Enter the URL of the map interface in a new web browser tab:
The page will appear with basic information about the TanDEM-X mission on the left and the map interface (showing a color coded version of the TanDEM-X global Forest/Non-Forest Map) with the polygon outline for each individual tile on the right. You can alter the map layer(s) shown in the map with the icon in the top right corner above the map canvas. Zoom to your region of interest, if needed.
Select the desired products (=left-click with the mouse on the corresponding tile). The name of the product appears in a list on the left side.
Alternatively you can also draw a search rectangle in order to download the products for a larger region of interest. Press the CTLR key on your keyboard while left-clicking with the mouse on a point and drag and draw the rectangle on the map. The search rectangle will be closed and the products will be selected, when you release the mouse button. Selected products appear on the left side of the page. You can remove single items from the list by selecting the trash bin icon associated which each item.
After the desired products have been selected, they can be saved on your computer file by file by clicking on the download icon associated to each item.
Optional: If you want to automate the download of a larger list of files you can select the ‘List’ icon to save the download list to an ASCII text file (with an absolute pathname for each file per line), or you can select the metalink icon to save the file list to an XML-like metalink file.
The ASCII file list can then be fed to a command line FTP client (e.g. wget or cURL, which are included in numerous Linux distributions), or to a download manager (e.g. aria2). The following code examples will illustrate the usage of those command line tools. The final line of code might need some adaptions with respect to individual system settings (e.g. whether a proxy is needed), but might serve as a starting point.
Suppose you have saved the list to the name ‘TDM50mFNF-url-list.txt’ to
your current working directory and the download directory will be the
directory as well, then the wget
command would be the following one-liner:
wget -i TDM50mFNF-url-list.txt --auth-no-challenge
The cURL command line would be:
curl $(printf ' -O %s' $(<TDM50mFNF-url-list.txt))
xargs -a TDM50mFNF-url-list.txt -L1 curl -O
The aria2 command line would be:
aria2c -i TDM50mFNF-url-list.txt
The metalink XML file can be fed to a download manager tool (e.g.
aria2). Suppose you have saved the metalink to the file name
in your current working directory, then the command line for aria2
aria2c -M TDM50FNF.meta4
The files can be also accessed via HTTPS by entering the following URL path into your web browser: https://download.geoservice.dlr.de/FNF50/files/. Single files can be downloaded by clicking on the files.
Directory Structure on the FTP Server:
The main directory structure on the FTP server contains just a FNF main directory. In this directory all available TanDEM-X 50m FNF products including the FNF Map and the auxiliary files are stored in a compressed ZIP (*.zip) format. Go here, if you need the complete data set for a certain FNF tile.
The main directory FNF is organized in a hierarchical directory structure and it contains subdirectories. The first subdirectory level is based on latitudes, one separate directory for each latitude value; each latitude subdirectory is subdivided into further subdirectories for the longitude spaced by 10 degree. Only subdirectories actually containing FNF tiles are visible.
Example: the directory ‘/FNF50/files/N49/E010’ contains the following 10 zip files:
Citation of the two listed papers [R01] and [R03] is adequate if you use the TanDEM-X FNF Map.
[R01] Martone, M., Rizzoli, R., Wecklich, C., González, C., Bueso-Bello, J.L., Valdo, P., Schulze, D., Zink, M., Krieger, G., Moreira, A., 2018. The Global Forest/Non-Forest Map from TanDEM-X Interferometric SAR Data. Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 205, pp. 352-373.
[R02] Martone, M., Sica, F., González, C., Bueso-Bello, J.L., Valdo, P., Rizzoli, P., 2018. High-Resolution Forest Mapping from TanDEM-X Interferometric Data Exploiting Nonlocal Filtering. Remote Sens., 10, 1477.
[R03] Esch, T., Heldens, W., Hirner, A., Keil, M., Marconcini, M., Roth, A., Zeidler, J., Dech, S., Strano, E., 2017. Breaking new ground in mapping human settlements from space - the global urban footprint, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, no. 134, pp. 30-42.
[R04] Krieger, G., Zink, M., Bachmann, M., Bräutigam, B., Schulze, D., Martone, M., Rizzoli, P., Steinbrecher, U., Antony, J.W., De Zan, F., Hajnsek, I., Papathanassiou, K., Kugler, F., Rodriguez Cassola, M., Younis, M., Baumgartner, S., López-Dekker, P., Prats, P., Moreira, A., 2013. TanDEM-X: a radar interferometer with two formation-flying satellites. Acta Astronaut. 89, 83-98.
[R05] Rizzoli, P., Martone, M., Gonzalez, C., Wecklich, C., Borla Tridon, D., Bräutigam, B., Bachmann, M., Schulze, D., Fritz, T., Huber, M., Wessel, B., Krieger, G., Zink, M., and Moreira, A. (2017): Generation and performance assessment of the global TanDEM-X digital elevation model. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Vol 132, pp. 119-139.
[R06] Martone, M., Bräutigam, B., Rizzoli, P., Gonzalez, C., Bachmann, M., Krieger, G., 2012. Coherence evaluation of TanDEM-X interferometric data. ISPRS J. Photogramm. Remote Sens. 73, 21–29.
For more information on the TanDEM-X mission, please visit:
TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Map project page
TanDEM-X 90m DEM download page:
Further information on TanDEM-X science activities and proposal web forms for DEM products at 12m and 30m spatial resolution:
Every user intending to download TanDEM-X 50m FNF products accepts automatically the user license. The license is exclusively granted for non-commercial and scientific utilization of the TanDEM-X 50m FNF data set provided by DLR. You can find the PDF document here:
Or you can read the original text here:
Hereby a license for the use of TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest (FNF) Map, as defined below, is made available for the public free of charge, but only for non-commercial and scientific purposes. A license for commercial use of TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Map is not included therewith. A license for commercial use of TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Map is to be purchased separately by the German Aerospace Center.License terms and rights of use:
The present products are made available to the public by ESA and the consortium. You
may use one or several CCI-LC products land cover map for educational and/or scientific
purposes, without any fee on the condition that you credit the ESA Climate Change
Initiative and in particular its Land Cover project as the source of the CCI-LC database:
Copyright notice: © ESA Climate Change Initiative - Land Cover led by UCLouvain (2017)
Should you write any scientific publication on the results of research activities that use one or several CCI-LC products as input, you shall acknowledge the ESA CCI Land Cover project in the text of the publication and provide the project with an electronic copy of the publication (email@example.com).
If you wish to use one or several CCI-LC products in advertising or in any commercial promotion, you shall acknowledge the ESA CCI Land Cover project and you must submit the layout to the project for approval beforehand (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Accompanied by a link to the ESA DUE GlobCover website:
and to cite the following reference paper:
“Martone, M.; Rizzoli, P.; Wecklich C.; González, C.; Bueso-Bello, J.L.; Valdo, P.; Schulze, D.; Zink, M.; Krieger, G.; Moreira, A. The Global Forest/Non-Forest map from TanDEM-X Interferometric SAR Data. Remote Sensing of Environment 2018, 205, 352–373”.Derived information must include a reference to the TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Map as data source, regardless of the form in which it was created.