United States National LiDAR Collection Underfunded

Only about 30% of the United States has been scanned by aerial LiDAR systems according to a article  from Deep Dive Intelligence.  The current pace is about 1-2% per year for new data.  It is on a pace that it will take 35 years to map the country on a repeating cycle.   This also brings up old data concerns as some data in North Carolina is 11-12yrs old and current refreshes are needed.  The sequester has reduced spending to $50million/year when it needs to be at a pace of $146million to keep pace.  The USGS is reducing the data quality collected to save money, they are using Level 2 data with 2 pulses per square meter where ideally you want Level 1 data with 8 pulses per square meter.

LiDAR scanning of the country should be increased to get quality Level 1 data on a normal refresh time frame (ideally 5-10yrs not counting disaster updates).  The prices are cheap compared to what the US government spends on other programs.  This can be a stepping stone to a large scale refresh of our country’s infrastructure including increased construction projects, improved disaster response for public safety and the growth of a national smart grid-like database that goes beyond power networks to a national virtual reality to manage the country’s infrastructure well into this century and the next century.  This would be a investment that would have good Return On Investment (ROI) for the country.


About Chuck Schoeneberger

Former forecaster at Meridian Environmental Technologies Inc (now a Interis Company), with a background in GIS and LiDAR, with other stints at GeoSpatial Services of Winona, MN and Aerometric (Now Quantum Spatial) of Sheboygan, WI. He is a weather technologist for public storm safety from a local to international level. LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=25048141&trk=tab_pro His views are his own and not of his employer.
This entry was posted in GIS, high resolution modeling, Information Technology, LiDAR, Meteorology, Photogrammerty, Storm Damage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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