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2009 US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) Topobathy Lidar: Isle Royale, Michigan

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage for the 2009 USACE Isle Royale lidar data set.
These files contain topographic and bathymetric lidar data collected by the Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system along the coastline of the island of Isle Royale, Michigan in Lake Superior. 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 were referenced to the NAD83 ellipsoid and provided in meters. 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 positions are relative to NAD83 in decimal degrees of longitude and latitude. The heights were converted from ellipsoid to orthometric heights (NAVD88) using the Geoid03 model with the results in meters. Once converted to geoid heights, the data were then converted to IGLD85 using the VDatum program from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The NOAA Coastal Services Center received the data and converted the hydro files from IGLD85 heights to NAVD88 heights using VDatum. The heights were then converted to ellipsoid heights using Geoid03. The topo files were converted from NAVD88 heights to ellipsoid heights using Geoid03. These files were converted for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes.

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    Distribution Formats
    • LAZ
    Distributor Distributor information not available
    Point of Contact
    Documentation links not available.
      • publication: 2012-01-01
      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 (NCMP) to depict the elevations above and below the water along the Michigan coastal zone.
      Time Period: 2009-07-27  to  2009-08-02
      Spatial Reference System:
      Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
      N: 48.240609
      S: 47.815609
      E: -88.3551972
      W: -89.3269497
      Spatial Coverage Map:
      • Topography/Bathymetry
      • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District
      • JALBTCX
      • CHARTS
      • SHOALS
      • topography
      • bathymetry
      • ASCII XYZ
      • coastal elevation
      • seafloor Topography
      • lidar
      • Light Detection and Ranging
      • United States
      • Michigan
      • Keweenaw County
      • Lake Superior
      • Copper Harbor
      • Houghton
      Use Constraints No constraint information available
      Fees Fee information not available.
      Lineage Statement Lineage statement not available.
      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 9 kHz, bathymetric lidar data at 1 kHz 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 data are converted from ellipsoid to orthometric heights, based on the GEOID03 model, within the chartsLAS program. The data were then shifted vertically from the orthometric heights to IGLD 85 using VDatum software from NOAA.
      • The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received the topo files in LAS v1.1 format and the hydro files in ascii format. The files contained lidar elevation and intensity measurements. The topo data were received in geographic coordinates (NAD83) and vertically referenced to NAVD88 using the Geoid03 model. The vertical units of data were meters. The data were classified according to ASPRS LAS classification scheme (1 = unclassified, 2 = ground). The hydro files were received in geographic coordinates (NAD83) and vertically reference to IGLD85. CSC performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes: 1. Both topo and hydro files were filtered for elevation outliers. 2. The topo las files were converted from orthometric (NAVD88) heights to ellipsoidal heights using Geoid03. 3. The hydro ascii files were converted from IGLD85 heights to orthometric (NAVD88) heights using VDatum. 4. The hydro las files were converted from orthometric (NAVD88) heights to ellipsoidal heights using Geoid03. 5. The hydro ascii files were converted to las format and points were classified as 11 (Bathymetry) 6. The data were converted to LAZ format.
      • 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: 2013-01-22

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