Where to Find and Download Free LiDAR Data

Some exciting sources of LiDAR open-data that you probably didn’t know.

Our team at Geo-Appsmith has already written about Drone and Satellite Imagery and has provided useful links on where and how to download the data-sets. You can find that post here: Where to find Free High Resolution Drone and Satellite Imagery.

This time round, we’re going to talk about Light Detection and Ranging or LiDAR, as is popularly known. And as usual, we’ll make it as painless as possible. But it would be wrong of us not to give to the newbies the “What is LiDAR and Why its an important data source in remote sensing”.

So to start, LiDAR, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure variable distances to the Earth. By measuring the distance of the reflected pulses and differences in laser return times and wavelengths are then used to make digital 3-D representations of the target.

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR ) has become increasingly popular Remote Sensing method for generating precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics. The technology has found many applications in forestry, agriculture, archeology, geology, geodesy, urban planning, among others. And because of its accuracy, precision, and flexibility LiDAR  has many other applications involving production of high-resolution maps for examining both natural and manmade environments.

Here are some sources where you can search and download Free Licenced LiDAR Data:

  1. DigitalCoast:   Is a NOAA-sponsored site focused on helping communities address coastal issues. DigitalCoast has become one of the most-used resources in the coastal management community. LIDAR data sets for many coastal areas can be downloaded from this site.
  2. Geoscience Australia: Geoscience Australia is Australia’s pre-eminent public sector geoscience organisation. The organisation mantains an online tool for discovery and delivery of various types data sets including LiDAR.
  3. Data Gov UK: Aggregates data from  government departments and agencies, public bodies and local authorities and makes it freely available for research and applications developement.
  4. LIPAD: Is a very resourceful access and distribution center for Phillipines LiDAR data. It also serves other datasets, which include Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), Orthophotos, Classified LAZ, Flood Hazard Maps and Resource Maps.
  5. Gipuzkoa: Provides an interactive map search of LiDAR data of the North of Spain, available for downlaod in LAS file format each covering 1sq.km.

More sources include:

  • Nasa:The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is very resourceful in al forms of datasets including LiDAR.
  • National Center for Geographic Information: A platform in Spain to find and downoad LiDAR.
  • Arizona State University: The University’s Active Tectonics Research Group mantains a list of online LiDAR / ALSM data resources.
  • Mount Saint Helens: provides for LiDARA and DEM of the area. Both bare earth and reflective surface LiDAR data is available in both ASCII and TIN format for each quarter quad.
  • NCALM: This site provides public access to high-resolution airborne laser swath mapping data (ALSM) acquired by NCALM for NSF sponsored research projects.

 

Douglas Mbura Author

I'm a GIS Specialist. Working as CTO, responsible (Response-Able) for managing the technological requirements at GeoAppsmith.

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