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2010 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Topographic Lidar: Coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage for the 2010 FEMA Coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island lidar data set.
Terrain data, as defined in FEMA Guidelines and Specifications, Appendix N: Data Capture Standards, describes the digital topographic data that was used to create the elevation data representing the terrain environment of a watershed and/or floodplain. Terrain data requirements allow for flexibility in the types of information provided as sources used to produce final terrain deliverables. Once this type of data is provided, FEMA will be able to account for the origins of the flood study elevation data. (Source: FEMA Guidelines and Specifications, Appendix N, Section N.1.2).
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
Associated Resources
  • publication: 2013-09-01
Data Presentation Form: Digital image
Dataset Progress Status Complete
Data Update Frequency: As needed
Purpose: Terrain data is used to represent the topography of a watershed and/or floodplain environment and to extract useful information for hydraulic and hydrologic models. (Source: FEMA Guidelines and Specs, Appendix N) This digital data is produced for the purposes of updating/creating a DFIRM database.
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be aware that temporal changes may have occurred since this data set was collected and some parts of this data may no longer represent actual surface conditions.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
  • DHS/FEMA > Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Strategic Alliance for Risk Reduction (STARR)
  • DOC/NOAA/NOS/OCM > Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Time Period: 2009-11-16 to 2010-02-04
Spatial Reference System: urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::4269
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
N: 41.892085
S: 41.236003
E: -69.956452
W: -71.466405
Spatial Coverage Map:
Theme keywords none
  • Topography/Bathymetry
  • Land Surface
  • Elevation Data
  • LAS
Place keywords None
  • US
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Dukes County
  • Kent County
  • Nantucket County
  • Newport County
  • Providence County
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
  • 2010-04-14T00:00:00 - AERO-METRIC, INC. established accurate LiDAR trajectory coordinates for portions of Dukes, Kent, Nantucket, Newport, and Providence counties flown at 1660 meters above mean terrain. The information allows photogrammetrists to position the LiDAR imagery with minimal ground control and maintain the standards published by the Federal Geographic Data Committee. In conjunction with the AirBorne Global Positioning and Inertial Measuring System (ABGPS/IMU), 131 ground control points (checkpoints) were established to validate the accuracy of the LiDAR data. Airborne GPS/IMU surveys were completed between November 16, 2009 and February 4, 2010 during the acquisition of the LiDAR data. Ground control surveys were completed between November 19 and December 9, 2009. Airborne GPS/IMU and ground control surveys were completed for the project site, under FEMA Task Order No. HSFE01-09-J-001, Work Order No. AM 01 01 001 entered into on November 5, 2009 between the STARR and AERO-METRIC, INC.
  • 2013-09-01T00:00:00 - The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received the topographic files in LAS V1.2 format. The files contained lidar elevation measurements, classifications, intensity data, return information, GPS time, scan angle and source ID. The data were received in either NAD83 Mass State Plane Island (Zone 2002) coordinates or NAD83 Rhode Island State Plane (Zone 3800) and were vertically referenced to NAVD88 using the Geoid03 model. The vertical units of the data were feet. CSC performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes: 1. The topographic las files were converted from a Projected Coordinate System (MASS SP 2002/RI SP 3800) to Geographic coordinates (NAD83). 2. The topographic las files' horizontal units were converted from US feet to decimal degrees. 3. The topographic las files were converted from orthometric (NAVD88) heights to ellipsoidal heights using Geoid03. 4. The topographic las files' vertical units were converted from feet to meters. 5. The data were converted to LAZ format.
  • 2013-10-17T00:00:00 - 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: 2013-10-17
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