Wisconsin Geospatial News

US Geological Survey announces LiDAR partnership opportunity

Late last week the US Geological Survey (USGS) issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) that provides detailed information on how to partner with the USGS and other Federal agencies to acquire LiDAR elevation data as part of the 3DEP program. The primary goal of 3DEP is to systematically collect LiDAR data across the country. This BAA replaces the partnership proposal process previously used by the USGS National Geospatial Program for LiDAR data acquisition proposals.


Eligible entities may contribute funds toward a USGS LiDAR data acquisition activity, or request 3DEP funds toward a LiDAR data acquisition activity. Federal agencies, state and local governments, tribes, academic institutions and the private sector are eligible to submit pre-proposals. The pre-proposal step is highly recommended but is not required. The purpose of pre-proposals is to maximize partnership opportunities and to minimize the labor and cost associated with the production of detailed proposals that have little chance of being funded.

Based on assessment of pre-proposals, feedback will be provided to applicants on whether or not they are encouraged to submit a full proposal. Pre-proposals are due by 5:00 PM ET on August 15, 2014 and full proposals will be due by 5:00 PM ET on September 26, 2014.* Notification of acceptance of proposals will be emailed to applicants on or about November 1, 2014.

Information about this announcement is available at the FedBizOps website. The Soliciation Number is G14PS00574.

The FedBizOps site links to FedConnect for details on the offer. An easy way to find this information is to navigate to this FedConnect page and then search for “3d Elevation” as the Title or “G14PS00574” as the Reference Number.

The announcement and application package is also available on Grants.gov by searching for Funding Opportunity # G14AS00126.


For your convenience, key pieces of documentation have been downloaded are viewable from the following links:

Other pertinent information about the BAA includes the following:

  • The USGS National Geospatial Program utilizes the Geospatial Products and Services Contract (GPSC) to acquire data from vendors via a qualifications-based, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity process. However, contracts may also be awarded to organizations qualified to acquire data through their own contracting processes.
  • Applicants may include single entities or teams.
  • There is no required cost sharing, matching or cost participation for Federal, academia, tribal, or private sector partners. However, appropriations law requires that USGS may not pay more than one-half the cost of topographic mapping carried on in cooperation with states and municipalities.
  • Criteria that will be considered for awards includes: overall value to the US government based on project cost; location and areal extent; areas subject to significant natural hazards; areas identified as priorities (see 3DEP status and priority map); areas identified as high-benefit (see high-benefit areas map); areas with no or old LiDAR coverage; and qualifications/past performance. In general, great emphasis is placed on the idea of “best value” – which may not necessarily be the proposal offering the lowest cost.
  • Deliverables must conform to the most current published USGS product specification for LiDAR and derived products, USGS LiDAR Specification Version 1.0. LiDAR data and derived products will meet the current definition of Quality Level 2 (QL2): Classified LiDAR point cloud data, with a minimum point density of 2 points per square meter, a nominal pulse spacing no greater than 0.7 meter, and a relative vertical accuracy no greater than 10 cm root mean squared error (RMSEz).

See the websites noted above for additional details and full documentation. Questions regarding this opportunity should be submitted to Victoria Floyd at the USGS.

What’s Next?

It’s exciting to see this initial opportunity to begin building partnerships for the 3DEP program. Wisconsin has several high-benefit, high-priority areas for LiDAR, as well as an interest in acquiring data on the part of numerous counties. Since this BAA is so focused on “best value” there might be opportunities for collaboration between adjacent counties to maximize economies of scale for data acquisition. In addition, there may be opportunities to tie this opportunity into orthophoto acquisition in the works for 2015, such as working through WROC-partnering counties.

Stay tuned for further information on this BAA and the 3DEP program in general.



* As of Aug 14, 2014, the preproposal deadline has been extended to Sept 5, 2014 and the full proposal deadline has been extended to Oct 17, 2014.