Coastal and Marine Geology Program Lidar Coordination

Science Center Objects

Resources, publications, and contacts for lidar.

Illustration of Airborne Lidar Acquisition Platform

Airborne lidar is a surveying method that measures distance to a target from a survey plane by illuminating that target with a pulsed laser light, and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3D-representations of the target. This illustration depicts the equipment used, including the plane with digital camera mounted underneath, the GPS base station, and the satellites used to obtain the coordinates. (Credit: Betsy Boynton. Public domain.)

Lidar coordination supports the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology goal of understanding coastal and marine environments through technology, tools, data and mapping products, as well as collaborative opportunities.

USGS Lidar Base Specification - Lidar Base Specification (ver. 1.2, November 2014): U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 11, chap. B4, 67 p. with appendices (2 MB PDF)

The National Map Viewer - The geographic information available includes orthoimagery (aerial photographs), elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures, and land cover.

USGS The National Map Liaisons - Federal Geospatial Liaisons work with the Federal Geographic Data Committee and other Federal agencies to develop and manage partnerships at the national and programmatic level to support development and use of The National Map.

3D Elevation Program - High-quality topographic data and a wide range of other three-dimensional representations of the Nation's natural and constructed features.