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2011 USACE/JALBTCX Great Lakes Topographic/Bathymetric Lidar: Michigan (Lake Superior) and New York (Lakes Erie and Ontario) Coastlines

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage for the 2011 USACE New York/Michigan Great Lakes 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), low points or noise (7), valid bathymetric data (11). Classes 1, 2 and 7 are defined in accordance with the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) classification standards, while class 11 is specific to the NOAA CSC. These data were collected by the Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system along the coast of Michigan and New York. CHARTS integrates topographic and bathymetric lidar sensors, a digital camera and a hyperspectral imager 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). Native lidar data is not 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 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 (GRS80) ellipsoid and provided in meters.The 3-D position data are sub-divided into a series of LAS files, each covering approximately 5 kilometers of shoreline. LiDAR data was collected at a nominal point spacing (NPS) of 2.0 meters. The format of the file is LAS version 1.2.

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    Distribution Formats
    • LAZ
    Distributor Distributor information not available
    Point of Contact
    Associated Resources
    • Lidar Dataset Supplemental Information
      • publication: 2012-11-02
      Data Presentation Form: Digital image
      Dataset Progress Status Complete
      Data Update Frequency: As needed
      Purpose: These data were collected as a part of the NCMP to depict the elevations above and below the water in the Michigan and New York Great Lakes coastal zones.
      Time Period: 2011-06-06  to  2011-09-23
      Spatial Reference System:
      Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
      N: 47.253288
      S: 42.542072
      E: -76.108973
      W: -88.265652
      Spatial Coverage Map:
      • Bathymetry/Topography
      • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
      • Mobile District
      • National Coastal Mapping Program (NCMP)
      • Classified LAS
      • 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)
      • US
      • New York
      • Jefferson County
      • Oswego County
      • Cayuga County
      • Wayne County
      • Monroe County
      • Orleans County
      • Niagra County
      • Erie County
      • Michigan
      • Houghton County
      • Marquette County
      • Alger County
      • Lake Superior
      • Lake Erie
      • Lake Ontario
      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 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 charts2las module then converts all valid data from ellipsoid to orthometric 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 (valid topographic data), 21 (valid topographic data acquired with the bathymetric sensor), 27 (invalid topographic and bathymetric data), 29 (valid bathymetric data). The data are then shifted vertically to the International Great Lakes Datum of 1985 (IGLD85) using the VDatum program from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
      • 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 valid topographic 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 the bare 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 manually reclassifying those points. The final classification results are comprised of individual lidar points with classification s of ground (2) or unclassified (1). They are partitioned into a series of 5km delivery boxes, one Classified 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 bathymetric sensor), 27 (invalid topographic and bathymetric data), 29 (valid bathymetric data).
      • The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received classified topographic files in LAS format. The files contained lidar elevation measurements. The data were received in North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) geographic coordinates and were vertically referenced to NAVD88 using the Geoid09 model. The vertical units of the data were meters. CSC performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes: 1. The topographic las files were converted from orthometric (NAVD88) heights to GRS80 ellipsoidal heights using Geoid09. 2. Points in class 29 (valid bathymetric data) were reclassified to class 11 (valid bathymetric data) using las2las software. 3. 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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