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2011 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Topographic LiDAR: Massachusetts and New Hampshire

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage for the 2011 USACE Topographic Lidar: MA and NH lidar data set.
These files contain classified topographic and bathymetric lidar data as unclassified valid topographic data (1), valid topographic data classified as ground (2), noise (7), and valid bathymetric data (11). Classes 1, 2 and 7 aredefined in accordance with the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) classification standards, while class 11 is specific to NOAA CSC. These data were collected by the Compact Hydrographic Airborne RapidTotal Survey (CHARTS) system along the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. CHARTS integrates topographic and bathymetric lidar sensors, a digital camera and a hyperspectral imager on a single remote sensing platform for usein 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). Native lidar data isnot generally in a format accessible to most Geographic 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 importedinto 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 referencedto the NAD83 ellipsoid and provided in meters. The National Geodetic Survey's (NGS) GEOID03 model is used to transform the vertical positions from ellipsoid to orthometric heights referenced to the North American Vertical Datumof 1988 (NAVD88). The 3-D position data are sub-divided into a series of LAS files, each covering approximately 5 kilometers of shoreline. The format of the file is LAS version 1.2.

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    Distribution Formats
    • LAZ
    Distributor Distributor information not available
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      • publication: 2013-12-01
      Data Presentation Form: Digital image
      Dataset Progress Status Complete
      Data Update Frequency: As needed
      Supplemental Information: These data covered the required survey area with minimal gaps in data coverage except where poor water quality prohibited bathymetric data acquisition. In areas of dense vegetation the points classified as ground might be incorrectly classified due to the inability of the laser to penetrate the canopy and reach the bare ground.
      Purpose: These data were collected as a part of the NCMP to depict the elevations above and below the water in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire coastal zone.
      Time Period: 2011-09-25  to  2011-09-30
      Spatial Reference System:
      Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
      N: 42.927010
      S: 42.647594
      E: -70.659773
      W: -70.866429
      Spatial Coverage Map:
      • Topography/Bathymetry
      • Remote Sensing
      • LiDAR
      • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
      • Mobile District
      • National Coastal Mapping Program (NCMP)
      • Classified LAS
      • Classified LAZ
      • Scanning Hydrographic Operational Airborne Lidar System (SHOALS)
      • IWG-OCM
      • Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS)
      • Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of eXpertise (JALBTCX)
      • USA
      • Massachusetts
      • Essex County
      • New Hampshire
      • Rockingham County
      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 10 kHz, bathymetric lidar data at 1 kHz and RGBimagery 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 produce3-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 charts2las module then converts all valid data from ellipsoid toorthometric heights based on the NGS' GEOID03 model and exports topographic and bathymetric data as a series of LAS files, one file per flight line. The format of the file is LAS version 1.2. Data are classified as 0 (validtopographic data), 21 (valid topographic data acquired with the bathymetric sensor), 27 (invalid topographic and bathymetric data), 29 (valid bathymetric data).
      • The flightline LAS files are imported into GeoCue V7.0.3.5, which is a geospatial workflow production and management software tool employed by JALBTCX to perform and monitor production of data products. Upon import into GeoCue,the flightline LAS files are divided into a series of boxes, each of which are 1500 meters in length and width. A customized classification macro, built upon the TerraScan V11 module within Microstation V8i, classifies validtopographic data as ground points (2) and unclassified points (1). Upon completion the macro, the classification results undergo quality control and any misclassified points are manually edited. In areas of dense vegetation thebare earth ground points might be incorrectly classified due to the inability of the laser to penetrate the canopy and reach the bare ground. In these areas, JALBTCX defaults to the algorithms ground surface instead of manuallyreclassifying those points. The final classification results are comprised of individual lidar points with classifications of ground (2) or unclassified (1). They are partitioned into a series of 5km delivery boxes, oneClassified LAS file per box. The format of the file is LAS version 1.2. Data are classified as 1 (valid non-ground topographic data), 2 (valid ground topographic data), 21 (valid topographic data acquired with the bathymetricsensor), 27 (invalid topographic and bathymetric data), 29 (valid bathymetric data).
      • The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received the las files from JALBTCX on hard drive. The files contained lidar elevation and intensity measurements. The data were received in Geographic, NAD83 coordinates and were vertically referenced to NAVD88 using the Geoid03 model. The vertical units of the data were meters. CSC performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes:1. All points in Class 29 (valid bathymetry) were converted to Class 11. 2. The topographic las files were compressed to laz v1.2 using LASTools' laszip software. 3. GPS Week Time Information was converted to Adjusted Standard GPS Time using LASTools' las2las software. 4. The topographic laz files were converted from orthometric (NAVD88) heights to ellipsoidal heights using Geoid03.
      • 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: 2014-01-27

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