NASA / DSCO

About Hill Top Views

Hill Top Views is a 3D elevation map of the world, including labelled 3D models of thousands of mountains.

It is based on topographic data collected from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) in 2000, which covers all latitudes between 60°S and 60°N to a resolution of around 90 metres.

The names and positions of mountains are taken from various online catalogues. In Britain and Ireland, much of the data was taken from the Database of British and Irish Hills. Whereas we only show mountains elsewhere in the world, in Britain and Ireland we also show all hills as well.

Terrain colors

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) only measured the elevation of terrain, not its color, rock types, etc. Consequently, all the coloration you see on this site is false color.

Terrain is assigned different colors depending on its elevation above sea level. Low-lying terrain is bright green, while higher terrain appears in various shades of gray. Oceans are shown in blue, and some very low-lying areas of land may also appear blue.

All of our maps are rendered in 3D, and include a model of how sunlight will illuminate the terrain. You can use the "Time of Day" slider to move the Sun between the east sky and the west. Some of the most spectacular views are to be had around dawn and dusk, when the Sun is low in the sky and casts long shadows.

Finally, the fog control lets you vary how far into the distance you can see. Some of the views on this site are quite optimistic about how far into the distance you are likely to be able to see, and applying fog may be helpful if you're trying to line up a diagram with a real photo.

Dominic Ford

Dominic Ford

Hill Top Views was written by Dominic Ford over the course of a few days in June 2016. Dominic is a freelance science communicator based in Cambridge, UK. Among his other projects, he is the lead developer of In-The-Sky.org.

He also runs Cambridge Science Centre's Meteor Pi project, which offers school children the opportunity to observe and analyse meteors using CCTV cameras connected to Raspberry Pi computers, and maintains the website of the British Astronomical Association.

He previously produced the monthly Naked Astronomy podcast for the Naked Scientists, and spent time as a science advisor and producer in the newsroom of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

He did his PhD in the Astrophysics Group of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, studying star formation within heavily obscured dusty nebulae.

He went on to work on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) from 2007–2012, developing numerical algorithms for high-performance parallel computing.

All of the information and diagrams on this website are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. . You are free to reproduce them for any purpose, but must credit Hill Top Views.

All of the information presented on this website is derived from public domain sources. The NASA SRTM dataset is publicly available under a US Government License. The Database of British and Irish Hills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. .

Contact details

You can email me at root@127.0.0.1.