University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Geospatial News

Coastal LiDAR coming to Wisconsin

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced plans to acquire LiDAR-derived elevation and bathymetric data, and color orthophotography in Wisconsin along the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior coastlines during 2006 and 2007.

As part of their Regional Coastal Mapping Program, the Corps will collect 4-meter resolution bathymetry 1000 meters waterward of the coast, 1-meter resolution topography 500 meters inland, along with high-resolution color orthophotography with a 0.2 meter (approximately 8 inch) spatial resolution.

The Wisconsin project is part of a larger coastal data collection effort happening in the Great Lakes region. Current plans call for the Lake Michigan flights to begin in May 2006 near the Mackinac Bridge in lower Michigan, and then proceed clockwise around the lake as far north as Milwaukee by fall 2006. The majority of Wisconsin flights will occur during the summer of 2007.

Unfortunately, the coastline within Green Bay from the tip of the Door Peninsula, south to the City of Green bay, then north toward the City of Marinette will not be covered primarily due to lack of funding. Although not yet confirmed, the Corps is also planning to skip Chequamegon Bay in Bayfield and Ashland counties. The Corps is considering partnership requests from local governments or state agencies that wish to fund the no-flight areas. The cost to do so is estimated at $3000 to $3500 per linear mile.

The current plan is for the data, all which will be in the public domain, to be available aproximately six months after it is acquired.