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Concerns about privacy and legality of data download

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:59 am America/New_York
by slavkata
I am a high school student and I am making a project about generating terrain in Unity with textures from a sattelite image and there is one thing that bugs me.
The whole project is non-profitable, for educational purposes only and the whole point is generating a terrain with its specific plants and animal species, attached with information from Wikipedia.
I made my research about the different ways to show the height of a point on the map and the most practical way are the heightmaps, specifically SRTM3.
I found this website , that people can use, however due to some restrictions I have to make my own implementation of that.
And to do that I need to download the .jpg/.png files of the height map, however while I was browsing for them I saw a specific message(see the attachment) that made me anxious and nervous, if downloading that is actually legal.
I started reading every terms & conditions, documentations just to see if I am authorized.
And I really did not find specific paragraph or some kind of text that tells me the exact answer.

So am I in the clear? Can I download them safely and is there something that I should consider?

Re: Concerns about privacy and legality of data download

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:44 am America/New_York
by jkustere
I could see how there could be some concern. The bottom line is that NASA has a "free and open" policy for NASA data distributed through the NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAACs). If you are downloading data from the Land Processes DAAC (LPDAAC), then it is free to download and use unless explicitly stated otherwise. We do ask that you cite the source of the data in whatever way you use it so we can track usage and value of our data in the community. The eathdata login account is a mechanism to simply collect metrics so we can get some demographic information about who is downloading our data. The message about "authorized users" on U.S. Government systems is standard when connecting to any U.S. Government system. The LPDAAC runs on U.S. Government systems. I hope this helps.