Elevation data are essential to a broad range of applications, including forest resources management, wildlife and habitat management, national security, recreation, and many others. For the State of Rhode Island, elevation data are critical for flood risk management, natural resources conservation, coastal zone management, sea level rise and subsidence, agriculture and precision farming, and other business uses. Today, high-quality light detection and ranging (lidar) data are the sources for creating elevation models and other elevation datasets. Federal, State, and local agencies work in partnership to (1) replace data, on a national basis, that are (on average) 30 years old and of lower quality and (2) provide coverage where publicly accessible data do not exist. A joint goal of State and Federal partners is to acquire consistent, statewide coverage to support existing and emerging applications enabled by lidar data. The new 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) initiative (Snyder, 2012a,b), managed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), responds to the growing need for high-quality topographic data and a wide range of other three-dimensional representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
The 3D Elevation Program: summary for Rhode Island