An interesting read via the latest edition of LiDAR Magazine looks at FEMA and their history and affinity with LiDAR data. From the article by David Maune… In 1994, Brigadier General Gerald E. Galloway chaired the Interagency Floodplain Management Review Committee following the devastating floods of 1993.
His report, widely known as the Galloway Report, recommended that FEMA evaluate newer technologies that could yield improved digital elevation models (DEMs) for floodplain modeling. Recognizing USGS as the nation’s elevation expert, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asked USGS to evaluate accuracies achievable from LiDAR and IFSAR. The USGS Open-File Report 96-401 entitled: “Digital Elevation Model Test for LIDAR and IFSARE Sensors,” documented USGS’ evaluation of LiDAR data from a LiDAR system developed by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in cooperation with FEMA and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The LiDAR was flown from an elevation of 3,000′ above ground level (AGL) over a 3 km2 area near Glasgow, Missouri which had been hard hit by the 1993 floods. The tested RMSE was 37 cm in open ground, 2.65 meters in low cover, 2.0 meters in scrub, and 3.8 meters in trees–all non-impressive by today’s standards.
Subsequently, FEMA became an early LiDAR pioneer
PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE