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2009 US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) Topobathy Lidar: Apostle Islands, WI

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage for the 2009 USACE Apostle Islands lidar data set.
These files contain topographic and bathymetric lidar data collected by the Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system along the coast of Wisconsin. 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 format of the files was LAS version 1.0. The NOAA Coastal Services Center received the data and converted the topo and hydro files from NAVD88 heights to ellipsoid heights using GEOID03. These files were converted for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes. The topographic points are classified as 0 (never classified) and the bathymetric points are classified as 11 (CSC bathymetry).

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    Distribution Formats
    • LAZ
    Distributor Distributor information not available
    Point of Contact
    Associated Resources
    • Lidar Dataset Supplemental Information
      • publication: 2012-09-01
      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 line in the Wisconsin coastal zone.
      Time Period: 2009-07-19  to  2009-08-02
      Spatial Reference System:
      Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
      N: 47.1519069
      S: 46.7496769
      E: -90.3411983
      W: -90.8944749
      Spatial Coverage Map:
      • Topography/Bathymetry
      • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District
      • JALBTCX
      • CHARTS
      • SHOALS
      • Topography
      • LAS
      • Lidar
      • United States
      • Wisconsin
      • Ashland County
      • Bayfield County
      • Apostle Islands
      • Lake Superior
      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 topographic data as a series of LAS files with a single file per flightline per 5 km box and the bathymetric data files contain all of the returns from the bathymetric sensor which includes returns both above and below the water.
      • 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 classified as 0 (never classified) and received in geographic coordinates (NAD83) and vertically referenced to NAVD88 using the Geoid03 model. The vertical units of the data were meters. The hydro files were unclassified and received in geographic coordinates (NAD83) and vertically referenced to NAVD88. 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 orthometric (NAVD88) heights to ellipsoidal heights using Geoid03. 4. The hydro ascii files were converted from ascii format to las format and the points were reclassified from 0 to 11 (Bathymetry). 5. 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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