NGP Standards and Specifications

Lidar Base Specification Online

The current version of the Lidar Base Specification is 2020 rev. A. See below for previous versions. 

For information on revisions being considered for the next LBS release, please see the LBS Revisions Status page. 

Welcome to the Lidar Base Specification online edition 

Historically, the Lidar Base Specification (LBS) was published as U. S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 11, chapter B4 (TM-11B4). In 2018, the USGS changed the review and approval method for updating the LBS and, concurrently, changed the publication method to make the updates more timely (see the Elevation Specifications Review Board page for more information). Along with these changes, the version of the specification was updated to 2.0. Version 2.1 of the specification was approved in September, 2019, by the USGS Elevation Specifications Review Board and the 3DEP Working Group. 

The latest version of the Lidar Base Specification, 2020 rev. A, was released on August 28, 2020. This release debuts a change in the version numbering convention to aid in tracking revisions and to clarify the year of release. This and following releases will labeled with "YYYY rev. L" where YYYY is the year of the release and L is a letter corresponding to the order of the release. LBS 2020 rev. A is the first release of the LBS in 2020. If there were to be a second release with new revisions it would be named "LBS 2020 rev. B". 

Please note that the LBS online pages are maintained and subject to changes for clarity, addition of supporting information such as links, and correction of errors. If you find an item that needs correction, please contact us at

Links to the LBS

For information on revisions being considered for the next LBS release, please see the LBS Revisions Status page. 

The revision history of the LBS can be found on the Lidar Base Specification Revision History page. Dates of publication are given in parentheses after the title. During the transition from print publication to online publication, versions 1.3 and 2.0 were in effect concurrently. This ended with the publication of version 2.1. 

Lidar Base Specification 2020 rev. A. (AUG 2020) (pdf)

Lidar Base Specification Version 2.1 (OCT 2019) (pdf)

Lidar Base Specification Version 2.0 (JUL 2018 in Spec-X, available online JUL 2019) (pdf

The following links are to pdf versions of previous versions of the LBS

Lidar Base Specification Version 1.3 (FEB 2018)

Lidar Base Specification Version 1.2 (OCT 2014)

Lidar Base Specification Version 1.0  (AUG 2012)