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2008 City of Baltimore Lidar

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage for the 2008 City of Baltimore lidar data set.
In the spring of 2008, the City of Baltimore expressed an interest to upgrade the City GIS Database with mapping quality airborne LiDAR data. The City of Baltimore currently had in place a contract for mapping GIS/services with the KCI/Sanborn Joint Venture Partnership, L.L.C. under Project 1051. The City of Baltimore issued Change Order #1 on on Project 1051 for the LiDAR acquisition and processing. KCI/Sanborn acquired the LiDAR data over the City of Baltimore (approximately 90 square miles) during one long mission on 15 April 2008. A Leica Airborne Airborne Laser Scanner Model ALS 50 was used in a Sanborn Aero Commander 500B (Registration N6172X) to acquire the data. The airborne mission was flown 15 April 2008. The LiDAR system acquired calibration data the same day by conducting flight passes over a known ground surface before and the LiDAR mission. During final data processing, the calibration parameters were used in the final post-processing software. The acquired LiDAR data were processed to obtain the following deliverables: -DEMs of first and last returns and bare earth (all point data) -LAS format data in a tile grid provided by the City/KCI -Gridded DEM in ESRI format (Arc Binary Grid -Arc/INFO Lattice ) produced from Bare Earth Mass Points in 1-meter resolution (Grid size) -Associated FGDC compliant metadata in XML format The project specifications called for the LiDAR survey to comply with industry standard FEMA guidelines for accuracy. The FEMA requirement for this type of mapping calls for vertical errors not to exceed 0.185 meter (0.61 feet) RMSE when compared with ground check points over open flat terrain and 0.370 meter (1.22 feet) for other types of terrain. This accuracy requirement was comfortably met with comparing LiDAR derived elevations against 50 ground control check points provided by KCI Technologies. These control points were photo control points used as part of the photogrammetric mapping project and independent LiDAR checkpoints surveyed by KCI and Mercado after the data was delivered. The RMSE error observed was 0.058 meter (0.189 feet) over all 50 check points.
Cite this dataset when used as a source.
Other Access Online access information not available.
Distribution Formats
  • LAZ
Distributor DOC/NOAA/NOS/OCM > Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Dataset Point of Contact Josh Nimetz
LiDAR Production Manager
KCI/Sanborn Joint Venture Partnership, L.L.C. (hereafter referred to as KCI/Sanborn)
  • publication: 2012-07-01
Data Presentation Form: Digital image
Dataset Progress Status Complete
Data Update Frequency: As needed
Purpose: This LIDAR operation was designed to provide a high density set of masspoints within the defined areas. The data sets are suitable for the development of contours for use in hydraulic/hydrologic model development, and for assessing environmental impacts. Typical uses for the dataset include FEMA Flood Map Modernization, DFIRM map updates, watershed delineation and other hydro studies per FEMA specifications, as well as general use by the City of Baltimore.
Use Limitations
  • These data depict the elevations at the time of the survey and are only accurate for that time. Users should be aware that temporal changes may have occurred since this data set was collected and some parts of this data may no longer represent actual surface conditions. Users should not use this data for critical applications without a full awareness of its limitations. Any conclusions drawn from analysis of this information are not the responsibility of NOAA or any of its partners. These data are NOT to be used for navigational purposes.
  • While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
  • DOC/NOAA/NOS/OCM > Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • KCI/Sanborn Joint Venture Partnership, L.L.C. (hereafter referred to as KCI/Sanborn)
  • DOC/NOAA/NOS/OCM > Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Time Period: Unknown to Unknown
Spatial Reference System: urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::4269
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
N: 39.372703
S: 39.195787
E: -76.526548
W: -76.713701
Spatial Coverage Map:
Theme keywords None
  • Bathymetry/Topography
  • DEM
  • Lidar
  • Surface Model
  • Digital Elevation Model
  • Hydrologic Modeling
  • LAS
  • Drainage Area
  • Coastal Elevation
  • Terrain Elevation
Place keywords None
  • US
  • Maryland
  • City of Baltimore
Use Constraints No constraint information available
Fees Fee information not available.
Lineage information for: dataset
  • Sanborn Map Company, Inc.
  • DOC/NOAA/NOS/OCM > Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers of Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Processing Steps
  • 2008-04-15T00:00:00 - Using a Leica Geosystems ALS50 Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) system, 29 flight lines of an average density of 1.0 meter ground sample distance, data were collected over areas in Baltimore City, MD (approximately 90 square miles). Multiple returns were recorded for each laser pulse along with an intensity value for each return. The data acquisition occurred in 1 mission on April 15, 2008. During the LIDAR campaign, the Sanborn field crew conducted a GPS field survey to establish final coordinates of the ground base stations for final processing of the base-remote GPS solutions. Airborne GPS data was differentially processed and integrated with the post processed IMU data to derive a Smoothed Best Estimate of Trajectory (SBET). The SBET was used to reduce the LiDAR slant range measurements to a raw reflective surface for each flight line. The overlap between flight lines was removed to provide a homogeneous coverage, and the coverage was classified to extract a bare earth digital elevation model (DEM). Airborne GPS is differentially processed using the GrafNAV V7.50 software by Waypoint Consulting of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The PDOP and distance separation is as follows: The classification and quality control (QC) of LiDAR data is carried out using TerraScan software by Terrasolid Limited of Helinski, Finland. IMU data provides information concerning roll, pitch and yaw of collection platform during collection event. IMU information allows the pulse vector to be properly placed in 3D space allowing the distance from the aircraft reference point to be properly positioned on the elevation model surface. The IMU data is processed using the PosPac V4.2 software by Applanix Corporation of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. The reflective surface is derived using the ALS Post Processor software by Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping Division of Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 2012-07-01T00:00:00 - The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received data in LAS v1.1 format. The files contained LiDAR elevation and intensity measurements. The data were received in state plane coordinates (Maryland; NAD83) and vertically referenced to NAVD88 using the Geoid03 model. The vertical units of data were feet. The data were classified according to ASPRS LAS classification scheme (0 = never classified, 1 = unclassified, 2 = ground 3 = low vegetation, 7 = noise, 12 = overlap). CSC performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes: 1. The data were converted from state plane coordinates to geographic coordinates (NAD83). 2. The data were converted from orthometric heights to ellipsoidal heights (GRS80) using Geoid 03. 3. The vertical units of the data were changed from feet to meters. 2. The LAS data were sorted by latitude and the headers were updated. 3. The data were converted to LAZ format.
  • 2013-01-22T00:00:00 - 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.
Last Modified: 2013-01-22
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