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The long-term objective of this research is to automatically extract and/or map terrain features for national mapping, and in so doing, set precedence for similar work in other subject matter realms.

The CEGIS 3DEP Initiative involves applications research projects, including pilots and test beds in areas such as the generation of derivative products from lidar that are National in scope, and creation of decision support systems with 3DEP and geospatial semantics. The modeling, identification, and extraction mechanisms for terrain features such as mountains, hills, and valleys are in part dependent on an understanding of their creation, on their morphometric properties such as shape and size, and on naïve perception of the physical landscape. Lidar data are being acquired as a part of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) and have sufficient resolution to capture the many and varied aspects of all types of terrain features. The ability to use these data as a source for extraction of geomorphologic and/or terrain features that can then be used to support spatial reasoning and natural language processing, and topographic science modeling and map generation, depends on a thorough understanding of both the features themselves and the everyday human conceptions of those features.