Active Archive of Large Floods, 1985-Present

Master Index of Inundation Maps

World Atlas of Flooded Lands

River Watch

Other Flood Detection Tools

Sample Images and Maps






Principles of Data Acquisition and Access

The Dartmouth Flood Observatory encourages world-wide access to the satellite record of large flood events and preserves a substantial part of this record in its archives.

Data providers are encouraged to transfer to the Observatory copies of vector or raster GIS data products of large flood events together with any relevant metadata. These data will be incorporated into our flood hazard maps and into our archives available for public use.

Dartmouth Flood Observatory data are available to users free and unrestricted under the conditions below. We prefer email requests.

In making a request, the data user agrees that the Observatory may inform its funding sponsors about the use to which the data have been put and may transfer the names and addresses of the data users to these sponsors. Our sponsors have included or do include the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (U.S.), NATO (Science for Peace Programme), and the World Meteorological Organization (UN).

DFO can make available subsets of its database on request, as stated above. Requests for the entire database or substantial parts of it, or for updating thereof as new floods are recorded, cannot be entertained without entering into a cooperative agreement.

To enhance the services of the Observatory, charges for data access are on a non-profit base for the time used for carrying out services and for costs of material, handling and mailing, as follows:

Staff time is based on a per hour rate which in July, 2004 was set at US$ 50. This includes indirect costs and communications and shipping costs.

For an indication of the approximate costs of obtaining data, refer to the following guideline. We will make an hour estimate on request.

1) Simple queries, such as a search for inundation vector data for a particular river or data for only a particular flood event:

Estimated time for completion: 3.5 hours
Approximate cost (October, 2004) : US$ 175.

Data can be provided in a variety of standard GIS vector formats as per user request. Transmission via FTP or mailing on cd-rom or dvd discs can be requested.

2) Complex queries, such as the selection of yearly inundation data for a large land area (e.g., 25,000 sq km):

Estimated time for completion: 20 hours
Approximate cost (October, 2004) : US$ 1000

3. For complex tasks where other data products or new mapping is requested, a cost estimate is made and agreed upon in advance.

4. Payment for services is by bank transfer to the credit of Dartmouth College. Please request the bank information when making an order. Cheques sent by mail and made payable to the Geography Department of Dartmouth College are also acceptable.


All Dartmouth Flood Observatory data are experimental information derived from satellites designed mainly for scientific research purposes. The Observatory has enhanced and interpreted these data, and translated the results into map form via standard remote sensing image processing techniques, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software.Whereas the Dartmouth Flood Observatory makes every effort to eliminate errors from its data, there may still remain errors that are unknown to us. Neither the Observatory nor its sponsors can be held responsible for the consequences of use of the provided data.


The following example shows how to cite the use of digital GIS inundation information obtained from the Observatory:.

Brakenridge, G.R. and Anderson, E. (2004). Satellite-based inundation vectors, Dartmouth Flood Observatory, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA, for x region and x years (state region and years included).





Direct Questions to:
Bob Brakenridge
Elaine Anderson


This work is made possible by data obtained by NASA, JAXA, ESA, and other space agencies, and by funding support from the Earth Surface and Interior Focus Area and the Applied Sciences Program, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, and from the European Commission, through the GDACS project, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy.


©2007 Dartmouth Flood Observatory