We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

The US Department of Defense is delaying the release of the most comprehensive topographical maps of the Earth ever produced.

The maps are currently being assembled from data collected by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (STRM). This joint project between the defence department and NASA — with additional contributions from the German Aerospace Center and the Italian Space Agency — aims to provide high-resolution maps of 80 per cent of the Earth’s land surface by the end of 2002.

But after the 11 September terrorist attacks, the Pentagon’s National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), which co-sponsors the project, placed a moratorium on any new releases of data pending a review of their implications for national security.

Reference: Nature 414, 831 (2001)

Link to full text