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2008 US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) National Coastal Mapping Program Topobathy Lidar: Lake Michigan

These files contain topographic and bathymetric lidar data collected by the Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system along the west coast of Michigan from Berrien County to Leelanau County, along the Lake Michigan coastline from 28 July - 16 Sept 2008. Lidar intensity data was also collected. CHARTS integrates topographic and bathymetric lidar sensors, a digital camera and a hyperspectral scanner on a single remote sensing platform for use in coastal mapping and charting activities. Data coverage generally extends along the coastline from the waterline inland 500 meters (topography) and offshore 1,000 meters or to laser extinction (bathymetry). The topographic lidar sensor has a pulse repetition rate of 9 kHz at 1064 nm (near-infrared wavelength). The bathymetric lidar sensor has a pulse repetition rate of 1 kHz at 532 nm (green wavelength). Native lidar data is not generally in a format accessible to most Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Specialized in-house and commercial software packages are used to process the native lidar data into 3-dimensional positions that can be imported into GIS software for visualization and further analysis. Horizontal positions, provided in decimal degrees of latitude and longitude, are referenced to the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83). Vertical positions are referenced to the NAD83 ellipsoid and provided in meters.

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    Distribution Formats
    • LAZ
    Distributor Distributor information not available
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      • publication: 2009-01-01
      Data Presentation Form: Digital image
      Dataset Progress Status Complete
      Data Update Frequency: As needed
      Purpose: These data were collected as a part of the National Coastal Mapping Program to depict the elevations above the water for the First Return, Last Return, or Hydro in the Michigan coastal zone.
      Time Period: 2008-07-28  to  2008-09-16
      Spatial Reference System:
      Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
      N: 44.989667
      S: 41.748285
      E: -85.915215
      W: -86.838156
      Spatial Coverage Map:
      • Bathymetry/Topography
      • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District
      • JALBTCX
      • CHARTS
      • SHOALS
      • LiDAR
      • Elevation
      • ASCII XYZ
      • Intensity
      • United States
      • Michigan
      • Allegan County
      • Benzie County
      • Berrien County
      • Lake Michigan
      • Leelanau County
      • Manistee County
      • Mason County
      • Muskegon County
      • Oceana County
      • Ottawa County
      • Van Buren County
      Use Constraints No constraint information available
      Fees Fee information not available.
      Lineage Statement Lineage statement not available.
      • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
      Processing Steps
      • These data were collected using the CHARTS system. It is owned by the Naval Oceanographic Office and operated through contract. The system collects topographic lidar data at 9kHz, bathymetric lidar data at 1kHz and RGB imagery at 1Hz. A CASI-1500 hyperspectral line scanner is integrated with the system as well. Aircraft position, velocity and acceleration information are collected through a combination of Novatel and POS A/V 410 equipment. All raw data streams are transferred to the office for downloading and processing in SHOALS GCS software. Aircraft position data are processed using POSPac software and the results are combined with the lidar data to produce 3-D positions for each lidar shot. Upon inspection and QA/QC in the software packages Fledermaus and PFM_ABE, anomalous data are flagged as invalid. PFM_ABE's chartsLAS module then converts all valid data from ellipsoid to orthometric heights based on the NGS' GEOID03 model and exports data as a series of first return topography (TF), last return topography (TL) and bathymetry (H) ASCII files. The bathymetry files contain all of the returns from the bathymetric sensor which include returns both above and below the water. The National Geodetic Survey's (NGS) GEOID03 model was used to transform the vertical positions from ellipsoid to orthometric heights referenced to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88). The 3-D position data were sub-divided into a series of ASCII file products, with each covering approximately 5 kilometers of shoreline. The file index was provided by the shape file, "mi_michigan_boxes.shp", and the numbers used to identify files are in the "Box" field of the shape file. The data file naming convention is based on the year, project, area name, "Box" number and product type (topographic or bathymetric). An example file name is "2008_NCMP_MI_Michigan_07_ASCII", where 2008 is the year of data collection, NCMP is the project under which data were collected, MI_Michigan is the area of data collection, 07 is the "Box" number and ASCII is the product type. The ASCII columns are Longitude, Latitude, UTM Zone, Easting, Northing, Elevation (orthometric), Elevation (ellipsoid), Date, Time, and Intensity.
      • The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received topo and hydro files in ASCII format. The files contained LiDAR elevation and intensity measurements. The points were classed as 'never classified.' The data were provided in Geographic coordinates and ellipsoidal heights and in orthometric heights. CSC performed the following processing to the ellipsoidal height data to make it available within the Digital Coast: 1. LASEdit was used to convert the ASCII formatted files to las format. 2. The hydro points classification was changed from 'never classified' to class 11, 'bathymetry'. The topo points classification remains as class 0, 'never classified'. 3. The LAS data were sorted by latitude and the headers were updated.
      • The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) received lidar data files via ftp transfer from the NOAA Coastal Services Center. The data are currently being served via NOAA CSC Digital Coast at The data can be used to re-populate the system. The data are archived in LAS or LAZ format. The LAS format is an industry standard for LiDAR data developed by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS); LAZ is a loseless compressed version of LAS developed by Martin Isenburg ( The data are exclusively in geographic coordinates (either NAD83 or ITRF94). The data are referenced vertically to the ellipsoid (either GRS80 or ITRF94), allowing for the ability to apply the most up to date geoid model when transforming to orthometric heights.

      Metadata Last Modified: 2013-06-05

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