Thursday, August 16, 2012

New National Elevation Inventory

During the first week of August 2012, the U.S. Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI) was released to the public for the first time.  A collborative effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the USIEI is an online inventory tool that combines in one place information about, "high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories".  Previous to USIEI, each agency maintained a portion of this information in separate databases.  Additional details as offered on the USIEI website:
This resource is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic data, including lidar and IfSAR, and bathymetric data, including NOAA hydrographic surveys, multibeam data, and bathymetric lidar. This inventory was completed May 2012 and will be updated annually.
The information provided for each elevation dataset includes many attributes such as vertical accuracy, point spacing, and date of collection. A direct link to access the data or information about the contact organization is also available through the inventory.

To give the system a test run, or watch a 30 minute webinar on this effort, click the links below:

Comment: Major kudos to these agencies for working together to put in one place the known universe of U.S. high accuracy elevation data sets - something critical to disaster mitigation, planning, response and recovery efforts if water is involved.  Let's hope there will be more interagency collaborative efforts like this one in the future!

Big thanks to Jim Lacy, Wisconsin Associate State Cartographer, for the steer to this story.

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