Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Capitalizing on Local Government’s Investment in LiDAR

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne wrote an article in LiDAR News titled Capitalizing on Local Government’s Investment in LiDAR. Jarlath writes, "In my work using LiDAR data sourced from local government to map land cover in urbanized areas, I find that even in major cities with well-established GIS departments, the point cloud has never been looked at and the term “LiDAR” is typically taken to mean a high-resolution bare earth Digital Elevation Model (DEM)."

I agree with this statement.

Also, the GIS mover and shakers within the State of Georgia are trying to get a elevation project off the ground. Actually, this effort began over a decade ago when I was at the Georgia Tech Center for GIS and a active member of GISCC. (The lesson here, be persistent.)

Because the State of Georgia has 159 counties, it is hard to get the various political powers to agree on spending the money for this project. There has been and will continue to be many surprise floods in Georgia until the state's elevation is mapped correctly. What is sad, nearby states with less financial resources mapped their state's elevation using Lidar many years ago. Thus they are far more prepared for floods than Georgia.

Is political pride getting in the way, or is it lack of education? The Carl Vinson Institute of Government at University of Georgia is trying to overcome the education issue. The Vinson Institute's Office of Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS) created a Lidar 101 education video to help legislators and other decision makers understand Lidar. It is 13 minutes and 13 seconds long.

Other Lidar post on this blog...


Anonymous said...

Of Georgia's 159 counties, is it really true that only 2 (Fulton and Glynn) have complete LiDAR coverage available, as stated on the National LiDAR Dataset page on Wikipedia?

If there are least some more, which are they?

Paul said...

Years ago Chatham County collected Lidar and ERDAS has a copy of Cherokee County Lidar from 2009.