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The accuracy and consistency of 3D Elevation Program data: A systematic analysis

The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) has created partnership opportunities to increase the collection of high-resolution elevation data across the United States, eventually leading to complete coverage of high-resolution, three-dimensional (3D) information from light detection and ranging (lidar) data across the entire country (interferometric synthetic aperture radar in Alaska). While 3DEP data are co

3D Elevation Program supports broadband internet access

According to the Federal Communications Commission, millions of Americans in rural parts of the country currently lack access to broadband (high-speed, always-on internet). Federal and State agencies have launched initiatives to enhance broadband access in rural America. High-resolution light detection and ranging (lidar) data can play a role in improving maps of broadband accessibility and helpin

3D Elevation Program—Federal best practices

The goal of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is to complete nationwide data acquisition in 8 years, by 2023, to provide the first-ever national baseline of consistent high-resolution three-dimensional data—including bare earth elevations and three-dimensional point clouds—collected in a timeframe of less than a decade. Successful implementation of 3DEP depends on partnerships and the development an

The 3D Elevation Program and energy for the Nation

High-resolution light detection and ranging (lidar) data are used in energy infrastructure siting, design, permitting, construction, and monitoring to promote public safety through the reduction of risks. For example, lidar data are used to identify safe locations for energy infrastructure by analyzing terrain parameters and identifying and evaluating geologic hazards (for example, landslide and f

The National Map—New data delivery homepage, advanced viewer, lidar visualization

As one of the cornerstones of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Geospatial Program, The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. The National Map is featuring direct links to new and improved GIS data access utilities on a refreshed data delivery homepage at https://w

The 3D Elevation Program—Supporting California's Economy

IntroductionCalifornia faces unprecedented challenges presented by shifting weather patterns that are defining a “new normal.” The result has been extreme weather events, prolonged drought, flooding, and debris flows. These conditions drive severe tree mortality, increase wildfire occurrence and intensity, reduce water availability, and hasten subsidence in groundwater basins. Collectively, these

The 3D Elevation Program—Flood risk management

Flood-damage reduction in the United States has been a longstanding but elusive societal goal. The national strategy for reducing flood damage has shifted over recent decades from a focus on construction of flood-control dams and levee systems to a three-pronged strategy to (1) improve the design and operation of such structures, (2) provide more accurate and accessible flood forecasting, and (3)

USGS integrated drought science

Project Need and OverviewDrought poses a serious threat to the resilience of human communities and ecosystems in the United States (Easterling and others, 2000). Over the past several years, many regions have experienced extreme drought conditions, fueled by prolonged periods of reduced precipitation and exceptionally warm temperatures. Extreme drought has far-reaching impacts on water supplies, e

The 3D Elevation Program—Landslide recognition, hazard assessment, and mitigation support

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landslide Hazards Program conducts landslide hazard assessments, pursues landslide investigations and forecasts, provides technical assistance to respond to landslide emergencies, and engages in outreach. All of these activities benefit from the availability of high-resolution, three-dimensional (3D) elevation information in the form of light detection and ranging

Status of the 3D Elevation Program, 2015

The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is a cooperative activity to collect light detection and ranging (lidar) data for the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and U.S. territories; and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) elevation data for Alaska during an 8-year period. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and partner organizations acquire high-quality three-dimensional elevation data for th

The 3D elevation program - Precision agriculture and other farm practices

A founding motto of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), originally the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), explains that “If we take care of the land, it will take care of us.” Digital elevation models (DEMs; see fig. 1) are derived from light detection and ranging (lidar) data and can be processed to derive values such as slope angle, aspect, and topographic curvature. These three mea

The 3D Elevation Program and America's infrastructure

Infrastructure—the physical framework of transportation, energy, communications, water supply, and other systems—and construction management—the overall planning, coordination, and control of a project from beginning to end—are critical to the Nation’s prosperity. The American Society of Civil Engineers has warned that, despite the importance of the Nation’s infrastructure, it is in fair to poor c