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2006 URS Corporation Bare Earth Topographic Lidar: Shawsheen River, Massachusetts

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage for the 2006 URS Shawsheen River, MA lidar data set.
URS Corporation contracted EarthData International to acquire topographic elevation data for 82 square miles in Essex and Middlesex Counties, Massachusetts during 2006. Products generated include lidar point clouds, 3D hydro breaklines, and lidar bare-earth elevation models in LAS format using lidar collected with a Leica ALS-50 Aerial Lidar Sensor. Lidar Sensor Specifications: Sensor: Leica ALS-50 Aerial Lidar Sensor (s/n ALS036) Airspeed: ~ 130 knots Laser Pulse Rate: 38,000 Hz Field of View: 35 Degrees Scan Rate: 20 Hz Average Swath Width: 1537 meters Nominal Post Spacing 3 meters
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
Documentation links not available.
  • publication: 2013-10-01
Data Presentation Form: Digital image
Dataset Progress Status Complete
Data Update Frequency: As needed
Purpose: The purpose of these data is to provide elevation data capable of supporting generation of two foot contours and defining target drainage channel geometry.
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be aware that temporal changes may have occurred since this data set was collected and some parts of this data may no longer represent actual surface conditions.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
  • URS Corporation
  • EarthData International
  • 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: 42.725917
S: 42.443801
E: -71.122943
W: -71.308999
Spatial Coverage Map:
Theme keywords none
  • Topography/Bathymetry
  • Elevation
  • Model
  • LiDAR
  • LAS
  • LAZ
  • Remote Sensing
Place keywords None
  • US
  • Massachusetts
  • Essex County
  • Middlesex County
  • Shawsheen River
Use Constraints No constraint information available
Fees Fee information not available.
Lineage information for: dataset
  • 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
  • 2006-12-27T00:00:00 - Terrasurv was tasked to perform a geodetic control survey in support of LIDAR mapping of the Shawsheen river area in Essex and Middlesex Counties, Massachusetts. The Global Positioning System (GPS) was used in a static differential mode to measure the interstation vectors of the network. The National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) was used to provide control for the network. Continuously Operating Reference Station WMTS was used, along with two ground stations of the NSRS. Two Trimble dual frequency receivers were used on day 361 of 2006. A base receiver was set up near on C 35, at the Lawrence Municipal Airport. This point was also used by the flight crew during the aerial data acquisition phase. The two northerly LIDAR points (SR-1 and SR-5) were surveyed using this station as a base. The other three LIDAR stations, and benchmark V 34, were surveyed using the CORS as a base. The horizontal datum was the North American Datum of 1983, 1996 adjustment (NAD 1983 1996), and the vertical datum was the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 1988) Geoid03.
  • 2006-12-16T00:00:00 - URS contracted EarthData International, Inc. (EarthData) to collect and deliver high quality topographic elevation point data derived from multiple return, light detection and ranging (Lidar) measurements for an area of interest totaling approximately 82 square miles in Essex and Middlesex Counties, Massachusetts. Data was collected at a nominal three meter (3) meter post spacing between points at an altitude of 2438 meters (8,000 feet) above mean terrain. This data was used to produce a bare-earth surface model and hydro-enforced breaklines for the project. The aerial acquisition was conducted on 16 December, 2006 using and aircraft (tail number N2636P). Lidar data was captured using an ALS-50 Lidar system, s/n ALS036, including an inertial measuring unit (IMU) and a dual frequency GPS receiver.
  • 2007-02-28T00:00:00 - EarthData has developed a unique method for processing lidar data to identify and remove elevation points falling on vegetation, buildings, and other aboveground structures. The algorithms for filtering data were utilized within EarthData's proprietary software and commercial software written by TerraSolid. This software suite of tools provides efficient processing for small to large-scale, projects and has been incorporated into ISO 9001 compliant production work flows. The following is a step-by-step breakdown of the process. 1. Using the lidar data set provided by EarthData, the technician performs calibrations on the data set. 2. Using the lidar data set provided by EarthData, the technician performed a visual inspection of the data to verify that the flight lines overlap correctly. The technician also verified that there were no voids, and that the data covered the project limits. The technician then selected a series of areas from the data set and inspected them where adjacent flight lines overlapped. These overlapping areas were merged and a process which utilizes 3-D Analyst and EarthData's proprietary software was run to detect and color code the differences in elevation values and profiles. The technician reviewed these plots and located the areas that contained systematic errors or distortions that were introduced by the lidar sensor. 3. Systematic distortions highlighted in step 2 were removed and the data was re-inspected. Corrections and adjustments can involve the application of angular deflection or compensation for curvature of the ground surface that can be introduced by crossing from one type of land cover to another. 4. The lidar data for each flight line was trimmed in batch for the removal of the overlap areas between flight lines. The data was checked against a control network to ensure that vertical requirements were maintained. Conversion to the client-specified datum and projections were then completed. The lidar flight line data sets were then segmented into adjoining tiles for batch processing and data management. 5. The initial batch-processing run removed 95% of points falling on vegetation. The algorithm also removed the points that fell on the edge of hard features such as structures, elevated roadways and bridges. 6. The operator interactively processed the data using lidar editing tools. During this final phase the operator generated a TIN based on a desired thematic layers to evaluate the automated classification performed in step 5. This allowed the operator to quickly re-classify points from one layer to another and recreate the TIN surface to see the effects of edits. Geo-referenced images were toggled on or off to aid the operator in identifying problem areas. The data was also examined with an automated profiling tool to aid the operator in the reclassification. 7. The point cloud data were delivered in LAS format.
  • 2007-02-28T00:00:00 - 3-D breaklines were created for the creation of a completely new hydrology dataset specifically tailored to meets the needs of the users of terrain data. 1) Breaklines were generated for all streams draining greater than approximately 1 square mile. 2) Two-dimensional lines defining the centerline and banks of those streams were manually digitized into Microstation format from the available 2002 source digital aerial imagery using lidar hillshades as an ancillary reference. 3) Breaklines were collected, unbroken through closed water bodies and culverts, as well as under roads, railroads, and bridges, in order to maintain proper stream network connectivity. 4) The entire breakline dataset was checked to ensure integrity of the linework with respect to topologic structure, connectivity, and positive downhill stream flow. 5) Single line streams were collected with the following criteria: Any area of drainage that did not meet the criteria to be collected as a double banked stream or closed water body. 6) Double-banked streams were collected with the Any area of drainage that was at least 40 feet wide for a distance of greater than 540 feet, and excluding closed water bodies. Double banked streams were delivered as linear features. 7) Artificial path lines were collected as the center line for all double banked streams and closed water bodies. Artificial paths were also created for closed water bodies where no flow path was delineated coming into or leaving the water body, and/or where the closed water body existed as the origin source of a flow path. 8) Artificial paths that are drawn in the two instances above go through the center of the water body and stop halfway through it. Artificial paths were only drawn for water bodies that fell on a streamline. 9) Any islands found within water bodies were collected in instances where trees were visible on them (indicating that these are permanent features). These islands were delivered as separate polyline features if present. 10) Any and all closed water bodies were collected, regardless of size, excluding such features as swimming pools, for the entire project area. 11) Water bodies were delivered as polygon features. 12) Single line streams, double banked streams, artificial paths and closed water bodies have unique attribution such that one feature type can be easily distinguished from another. 13) Linework was delivered in ESRI shape file format. 14) The 3D Hydro Breaklines were developed for the sole purpose of supporting flood mapping and should not be used to generate contours
  • 2013-10-01T00:00:00 - The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received topographic files las V1.1 format. The files contained lidar elevation measurements, Class 2 Points, return information, scan angle, intensity values and GPS Week Time. The data were received in Massachusetts State Plane Mainland Zone 2001, 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. The GPS Week Time was converted to Adjusted Standard GPS Time. 2. The las files were changed from V 1.1 to V 1.2. 3. The las files were converted from orthometric (NAVD88) heights to ellipsoidal heights using Geoid03. 4. The las files were converted from a Projected Coordinate System (MA SP Mainland) to a Geographic Coordinate System (NAD83). 5. The las files' horizontal units were converted from meters to decimal degrees. 6. The data were converted to LAZ format.
  • 2013-11-26T00:00:00 - 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: 2013-11-26
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