Dataset Description

The Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) is a globally complete inventory of glacier outlines (excluding the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica). It is a subset of the database compiled by the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. While GLIMS is a multi-temporal database with an extensive set of attributes, the RGI is intended to be a snapshot of the world’s glaciers at a specific target date, which in RGI 7.0 and all previous versions has been set as close as possible to the year 2000 (although in fact its range of dates can still be substantial in some regions). The RGI includes outlines of all glaciers larger than 0.01 km², which is the recommended minimum of the World Glacier Inventory.

The RGI was not designed for the measurement of glacier-by-glacier rates of area change, for which the greatest possible accuracy in dating, delineation and georeferencing is essential. While many RGI outlines meet these requirements, the primary focus of the RGI is on achieving global coverage, consistency, and proximity in a specific year. The strength of the RGI lies in its ability to handle large numbers of glaciers simultaneously. This allows, for example, for the estimation of glacier volumes and rates of elevation change at regional and global scales, as well as the simulation of cryospheric responses to climatic forcing.

For more details, please see the RGI 7.0 User Guide.


The RGI 7.0 dataset should be cited as:

RGI 7.0 Consortium, 2023. Randolph Glacier Inventory - A Dataset of Global Glacier Outlines, Version 7.0. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi:10.5067/f6jmovy5navz. Online access:

We request all users to use this reference in publications that use RGI 7.0 data. See for more information.

Release History

  • RGI Version 1.0: released Feb 22, 2012
  • RGI Version 2.0: released June 12, 2012. Version 2.0 includes metadata on data sources, outlining techniques and incorporates newly available outlines.
  • RGI Version 3.0: released April 7, 2013. Version 3.0 includes identification of all tidewater basins and delineation of glaciers from glacier complexes in nearly all regions.
  • RGI Version 3.2: released August 31, 2013.
  • RGI Version 4.0: released December 1, 2014.
  • RGI Version 5.0: released July 20, 2015.
  • RGI Version 6.0: released July 28, 2017.
  • RGI Version 7.0: released September 19, 2023.

Data Access

Get the RGI 7.0 (Recommended)

Other versions

RGI 6.0

RGI 5.0

RGI 4.0

RGI 3.2

RGI 2.0

RGI 1.0