LiDAR, all the cool kids are using it! But what exactly is LiDAR data and where can I get more info you might ask? And so, the following info via the USGS might help shed a little light on the topic for you – enjoy!
With this slightly lower elevation, has the tallest mountain in North America shrunk? No, but advances in technology to better measure the elevation at the surface of the Earth have resulted in a more accurate summit height of Alaska’s natural treasure. The revised official height for “the high one” has been measured at 20,310 feet, just 10 feet less than the previous elevation of 20,320 feet which was established using 1950’s era technology. The USGS partnered with NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS), Dewberry, CompassData,(a subcontractor to Dewberry), the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and the Denali National Park to conduct a precise Global Positioning System (GPS)measurement of a specific point at the mountain’s peak in late June.
According to the USGS, their maps have been downloaded by the millions since converting to digital delivery. The U.S. Geological Survey, through the National Geospatial Program, has delivered more than 18 million US Topoquadrangles and Historic Topographic Maps in the past six years. A download is counted when a user select the desired map(s) from the USGS Storeor The National Map Viewer and places that file on their computer or mobile device for further manipulation.
A newly released interactive California Drought visualization website aims to provide the public with atlas-like, state-wide coverage of the drought and a timeline of its impacts on water resources.
an update from the USGS on their crowd-sourcing efforts… The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) data volunteers continue to make significant additions to the USGS’s ability to provide accurate mapping information and data to the public. To reward those citizen scientists, TNM Corps has issued virtual badges to those participants that reach certain point (structure data submission) levels.
Here’s a fabulous digital archive with tens of thousands of maps for your viewing and printing pleasure! Available in time for the Fourth of July and able to be accessed on all digital devices, the USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer brings to life more than 178,000 maps dating from 1884 to 2006.
In 2009, USGS began the release of a new generation of topographic maps (US Topo) in electronic form, and is now complementing them with the release of high-resolution scans of more than 178,000 historical topographic maps of the United States. The topographic map remains an indispensable tool for everyday use in government, science, industry, land management planning, and recreation.
An update on 3DEP from the USGS… The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) initiative is being developed to respond to growing needs for high-quality topographic data and for a wide range of other three-dimensional representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features. The primary goal of 3DEP is to systematically collect enhanced elevation data in the form of high-quality light detection and ranging (lidar) data over the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories, with data acquired over an 8-year period. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (ifsar) data will be collected over Alaska, where cloud cover and remote locations preclude the use of lidar over much of the State. The 3DEP initiative is based on the results of the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment.
So you need USGS topos do you? After years and years the USGS topo data is still a hot ticket item that many Geo professionals rely on for their basemaps. Since the dawn of time these data have been quite a pain to get.. imagine sifting through archaic data repositories on academic sites, state portals and antiquated web repositories (think 12 clicks to get your free download). Well, fear not because not only are these data easily available from the USGS via the national map but thanks to Google and the Google Map Gallery project, users have one click access to downloading the USGS topo quad of choice. Note, these data are made available as GeoPDF files so if you need other GIS formats or DRGs consult some of the State data repositories listed here and also in this comprehensive article on downloading free USGS data. See also this primer on working with USGS SDTS data
Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors of renewable energy in the United States. About 3% of the total electricity in the United States was generated by wind turbines in 2012 (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), which is equivalent to the annual electricity use for about 12 million households. In response to the Department of Interior’s Powering Our Future initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has begun investigating how to assess the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife at a national scale.
The USGS has been collecting some data – well actually, tons of data from the recent record event taken place in Georgia. From the USGS, The flooding around Atlanta this week is one for the record books. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the rivers and streams had magnitudes so great that the odds of it happening were less than 0.2 percent in any given year. In other words, there was less than a 1 in 500 chance that parts of Cobb and Douglas counties were going to be hit with such an event. More information on USGS flood-related activities is available at the USGS Surface Water Information Web site.See below for some impressive before/after photos from the USGS! See here to View a map of real-time stream stage and streamflow monitoring sites.
Miscellaneous September 2009 Flooding Pictures
Normal flow conditions at Big (Vickery) Creek, Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, Roswell, Fulton County, Georgia. Photo by Alan Cressler, USGS.
Flood conditions, Sept. 21st, 2009, at Big (Vickery) Creek, Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, Roswell, Fulton County, Georgia. Photo by Alan Cressler, USGS.