Using SeaSketch to View 3DEP Lidar Areas of Interest (Lesson 11d)

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Lesson 11d: Using SeaSketch to View 3DEP Lidar Areas of Interest - In this lesson you will learn how to zoom to your area of interest and view the footprints of existing and proposed topographic lidar projects. For the complete listing of videos part of the 'Using The National Map Products and Services' training, visit this link:


Date Taken:

Length: 00:05:54

Location Taken: Augusta, ME, US


This is Lesson 11d – Using SeaSketch to View 3DEP Lidar Areas of Interest

In this lesson you will learn how to:

  • Zoom to your area of interest
  • And view the footprints of existing and proposed topographic lidar projects

The Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IWG-OCM) and the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) are demonstrating how we can work together to coordinate on mapping requirements and plans of Federal and state agencies around the country.

Our goal is to help federal agencies and our partners collaborate on mapping data requirements and acquisition, for more opportunities to "MAP ONCE, USE MANY TIMES."  We hope to enable coordinated planning between agencies and with our partners in order to meet more than one mapping need with the same data.  And we hope to convey where mapping is planned to happen so we can eliminate redundant efforts and acquire more data that everyone can use.

This video was developed to facilitate the collection of requirements for the 3DEP so the discussion is focused on topographic lidar.  The uses of the application are much broader.

SeaSketch contains information on 6 categories of data.  For 3DEP, we are focused on Mapping Priorities: Planned and Ongoing Mapping Projects and Existing Data.  For 3DEP the existing data you will be interested in is topographic lidar under the “US Interagency Elevation Inventory” subcategory.

"Planned and Ongoing Mapping Projects" are funded and are in progress or about to start.

The Mapping Priorities are simply agency areas of interest.   The projects are not currently funded.   However, it is among these projects where we hope to forge partnerships among federal, state and local agencies where projects overlap or are adjacent. 3DEP encourages you to add your project, big or small, funded or not.

The footprints for the data available in each category are displayed on the map window.  You can expand the subcategories and the check boxes to turn them on or off for display and query purposes. For example you can view current federal 3DEP interest and the interests of state and local government.

Before we go any further let’s talk about the map tools.   Several basemap alternatives are available.  As you can see here you can choose imagery or perhaps you are interested in using the topographic option or you can choose one of the other options as your choice for a basemap.   

You will click on the “my plans” tab to create a shapefile for your area of interest. Again, remember you must be logged in to access this tab.  The process for creating a shapefile using this tab is described in lesson 11c.  You will only use My Plans if you need to create a shapefile for the 3DEP BAA – Public Areas of Interest Project Collector Tool described in lesson 11b.   

The interface includes a variety of means for zooming to your area of interest:

The standard + and – buttons are on the upper left of the map. Click on the tool icon to reset the map extent or to add map features and tools to the map.  You can turn the side bar off to expand the map.  You can also search for and zoom to a location.

The mouse wheel can be used to zoom in and out and pressing and holding the left mouse button allows you to pan across the map. 

And finally, you can press and hold the Shift key, and drag a box on the map.

Now that you know how to use the interface, let’s see if lidar data exists for your area of interest.

You can click on the map within an existing project to learn more about the project including quality level and point spacing.

If you had submitted a project in this region it will appear on the map and will be listed under state and local 3DEP Mapping Areas of Interest. You can then use the SeaSketch tools to explore other agencies’ Mapping Needs and Requirements in the areas as well as projects that are underway or about to start.   The information will be used by 3DEP to develop funding partnership by identifying areas of overlapping interest. 

This concludes lesson 11d.