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2010 Northern San Francisco Bay Area Lidar: Portions of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Solano, and Sonoma Counties

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage of the 2010 NOAA CSC Northern San Francisco Bay lidar data set.
This Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) dataset is a survey of northern San Francisco Bay, California. The project area consists of approximately 437 square miles in portions of seven California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Solano, and Sonoma. The project design of the LiDAR data acquisition was developed to support a nominal post spacing of 1 meter. Fugro EarthData, Inc. acquired 147 flight lines in nine lifts on February 25, 26, and 28; March 1, 24, and 26; and April 3, 15, and 16, 2010. The data was divided into 1500 by 1500 meter cells that serve as the tiling scheme. LiDAR data collection was performed with a Piper Navajo twin engine aircraft, utilizing a Leica ALS60 MPiA sensor, collecting multiple return x, y, and z as well as intensity data. LiDAR data is remotely sensed high-resolution elevation data collected by an airborne collection platform. This data of northern San Francisco Bay, California, is classified according to the ASPRS classification scheme and was collected at sufficient resolution to provide a nominal point spacing of 1 m for collected points. Up to 4 returns were recorded for each pulse in addition to an intensity value.
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 DOC/NOAA/NOS/OCM > Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Associated Resources
  • publication: 2011-05-01
Data Presentation Form: Digital image
Dataset Progress Status Complete
Data Update Frequency: As needed
Supplemental Information:
The information in this report is the result of LiDAR surveys performed on the date indicated and the general conditions at the time of flight. Data for Red Rock, within San Francisco Bay, was not flown within the project tidal requirements. This data was collected as part of a cross-tie flight (Lift 5711309005203) on February 26, 2010 and is located within tile C5490_41970. In this area the breaklines were artificially lowered to match the hydro-flattened bay however, the LiDAR LAS data remains unaffected and accurate tide heights can be obtained from the data.
Purpose: The mission of the Coastal Services Center is to support the environmental, social, and economic well being of the coast by linking people, information, and technology. These LiDAR data are intended for use in coastal management decision making, including applications such as sea level rise.
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
  • 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: 38.350295
S: 37.753405
E: -122.111077
W: -122.646374
Spatial Coverage Map:
Theme keywords None
  • Bathymetry/Topography
  • LiDAR
  • Terrain
  • Model
  • Elevation
  • Surface
Place keywords None
  • US
  • California
  • Northern San Francisco Bay
  • Alameda County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Marin County
  • Napa County
  • San Francisco County
  • Solano County
  • Sonoma County
Use Constraints No constraint information available
Fees Fee information not available.
Lineage information for: dataset
  • Fugro EarthData, Inc.
  • Fugro EarthData, Inc.
  • Fugro EarthData, 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/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Processing Steps
  • 2010-04-09T00:00:00 - All acquired LiDAR data went through a preliminary review to assure that complete coverage was obtained and that there were no gaps between flight lines before the flight crew left the project site. Once back in the office, the data is run through a complete iteration of processing to ensure that it is complete, uncorrupted, and that the entire project area has been covered without gaps between flight lines. There are essentially three steps to this processing; 1. GPS/IMU Processing. Airborne GPS and IMU data was immediately processed using the airport GPS base station data, which was available to the flight crew upon landing the plane. This ensured the integrity of all the mission data. These results were also used to perform the initial LiDAR system calibration test. 2. Raw LiDAR Data Processing. Technicians processed the raw data to LAS format flight lines with full resolution output before performing QC. A starting configuration file was used in this process, which contain the latest calibration parameters for the sensor. The technician also generated flight line trajectories for each of the flight lines during this process. 3. Verification of Coverage and Data Quality. Technicians checked flight line trajectory files to ensure completeness of acquisition for project flight lines, calibration lines, and cross flight lines. The intensity images were generated for the entire lift at the required post spacing for the project. The technician visually checked the intensity images against the project boundary to ensure full coverage. The intensity histogram was analyzed to ensure the quality of the intensity values. The technician also thoroughly reviewed the data for any gaps in project area. The technician generated a sample TIN surface to ensure no anomalies were present in the data. Turbulence was inspected for and if it affected the quality of the data, the flight line was rejected and reflown. The technician also evaluated the achieved post spacing against project specified post spacing.
  • 2010-05-24T00:00:00 - The following steps describe the Raw Data Processing and Boresight process; 1. The calibration flight lines were first processed with the starting configuration file which contains the latest calibration parameters for the sensor. The boresight for each lift was done individually as the solution may change slightly from lift to lift. 2. Lift boresighting was accomplished using the tri-directional calibration flight lines over the project area. 3. Once the boresighting was done for the calibration flight lines, the adjusted settings were applied on all of the flight lines of the lift and checked for consistency. The technician selected a series of areas in the dataset to be inspected where adjacent flight lines overlay. A routine was run to calculate the misalignment of the adjacent flight lines and a statistical report was generated. The technician analyzed the result and applied more adjustment if necessary to optimize the result for the entire lift. Color coded elevation difference images were generated for all flight line overlaps including cross ties in the lift once the boresight adjustment was complete. The technician reviewed these images to ensure that systematic errors were eliminated for the lift and the results met the project specifications. 4. Once the boresight adjustment was completed for each lift individually, the technician checked and corrected the vertical misalignment of all flight lines and also the matching between data and ground truth. This process included calculating the z bias value for each flight line so that all flight lines are aligned vertically. The entire dataset was then matched to ground control points within the project specified accuracy range. 5. The technician ran a final vertical accuracy check after the z correction. The result was analyzed against the project specified accuracy to make sure it met the project requirements.
  • 2011-04-20T00:00:00 - Fugro EarthData, Inc. has developed a unique method for processing LiDAR data to identify and re-classify elevation points falling on vegetation, building, and other above ground structures into separate data layers. The steps are as follows; 1. Fugro EarthData, Inc. utilized commercial software as well as proprietary software for automatic filtering. The parameters used in the process were customized for each terrain type to obtain optimum results. 2. The Automated Process typically re-classifies 90-98% of points falling on vegetation depending on terrain type. Once the automated filtering was completed, the files were run through a visual inspection to ensure that the filtering was not too aggressive or not aggressive enough. In cases where the filtering was too aggressive and important terrain features were filtered out, the data was either run through a different filter or was corrected during the manual filtering process. 3. Interactive editing was completed in 3D visualization software which also provides manual and automatic point classification tools. Fugro EarthData, Inc. used commercial and proprietary software for this process. Vegetation and artifacts remaining after automatic data post-processing were reclassified manually through interactive editing. The hard edges of ground features that were automatically filtered out during the automatic filtering process were brought back into ground class during manual editing. Auto-filtering routines were utilized as much as possible within fenced areas during interactive editing for efficiency. The technician reviewed the LiDAR points with color shaded TINs for anomalies in ground class during interactive filtering. 4. Upon the completion of peer review and finalization of bare earth filtering, the classified LiDAR point cloud work tiles went through a water classification routine based on the collected hydro-flattened water polygons. 5. Upon the completion of peer review and finalization of the classified LiDAR point cloud work tiles, the tiles were reprojected to NAD83 (NSRS2007), UTM zone 10 north, meters; NAVD88, meters, using GEOID09. The data was also cut to the approved tile layout. The classified LiDAR point cloud data is in LAS format after this process. The technician checked the output LAS files for coverage and format. 6. The classified LiDAR point cloud data were delivered in LAS 1.2 format; 2 - ground, 1 - unclassified, 9 - water, 7 - low points/noise, and 12 - overlap points.
  • 2011-05-01T00:00:00 - The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received the lidar files in las format. The files contained lidar intensity and elevation measurements. CSC performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes: 1. Data converted from UTM Zone 10 coordinates to geographic coordinates. 2. Data converted from NAVD88 heights to ellipsoid heights using GEOID09. 3. The LAS data were sorted by latitude and the headers were updated.
  • 2011-07-06T00:00:00 - 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.
Source Datasets
  • Aerial Acquisition of Northern San Francisco Bay, California LiDAR
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Aerial LiDAR Acquisition. Fugro EarthData, Inc. collected ALS60-derived LiDAR over northern San Francisco Bay, CA with a 1 m, nominal post spacing using a Piper Navajo twin engine aircraft. The collection for the entire project area was accomplished on February 25, 26, and 28; March 1, 24, and 26; and April 3, 15, and 16, 2010. The collection was performed by Fugro EarthData, Inc., using a Leica ALS60 MPiA LiDAR system, serial number 113, including an inertial measuring unit (IMU) and a dual frequency GPS receiver. This project required 9 lifts of flight lines to be collected. The lines were flown at an average of 6,250 feet above mean terrain using a pulse rate of 121,300 pulses per second. Source Type: External hard drive
    • Temporal extent used: Unknown to
  • Northern San Francisco Bay, Report of Survey
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Ground Control. TerraSurv under contract to Fugro EarthData, Inc. successfully established ground control for Northern San Francisco Bay, CA. A total of 41 ground control points were acquired. GPS was used to establish the control network. The horizontal datum was the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83, NSRS2007). The vertical datum was the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88). Source Type: electronic mail system
    • Temporal extent used: Unknown to
Last Modified: 2013-05-09
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