Digital Coast Site Provides $125 Million in Lidar Data

The Takeaway: More than 30,000 Digital Coast users, including many in the private sector, have downloaded lidar data at no cost to address coast-related issues.

Lidar data sets are some of the most-often-used data by coastal communities, and NOAA’s Digital Coast provides these data at no cost, saving users time and supporting innovation, particularly by small businesses who likely couldn’t afford it otherwise. The 600-plus lidar data sets on Digital Coast cover 550 thousand square miles and represent the efforts of many organizations and agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey. Over 30 thousand individuals have downloaded the customized data, with many users working in private-sector engineering firms.

Use of the lidar data available on Digital Coast is making the following communities safer and stronger:

  • Connecticut’s CME Associates in East Hartford saved taxpayers’ money—and revealed less expensive ways to construct access roads—by using lidar-derived visualizations instead of expensive wintertime ground surveys.
  • AECOM’s watershed modeling laid the groundwork for flood-resilient green infrastructure in Toledo, Ohio, and Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Maui Tomorrow and Hawaii officials worked together to relocate a highway eroded by sea level rise and to avoid similar problems with bridges.
  • Davis and Floyd modeled stormwater drainage for better flood management at a major downtown intersection in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Stantec aided New York’s urban and hazard planners by using lidar to measure water volume in recharge basins.
  • Jacobs Engineering assisted North Carolina’s Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune to improve a pistol range by confirming stormwater collection patterns at the site.

For other examples of lidar’s benefits to communities, see these stories. (2017)

More Information: Lidar data