Elevation data are essential to a broad range of business uses, including forest resources management, wildlife and habitat management, national security, recreation, and many others. In the State of Oregon, elevation data are critical for river and stream resource management; forest resources management; water supply and quality; infrastructure and construction management; wildfire management, planning and response; natural resources conservation; and other business uses. Today, high-density light detection and ranging (lidar) data are the primary source for deriving elevation models and other datasets. The Oregon Lidar Consortium (OLC), led by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), has developed partnerships with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies to acquire quality level 1 data in areas of shared interest. The goal of OLC partners is to acquire consistent, high-resolution and high-quality statewide coverage to support existing and emerging applications enabled by lidar data.
The National Enhanced Elevation Assessment evaluated multiple elevation data acquisition options to determine the optimal data quality and data replacement cycle relative to cost to meet the identified requirements of the user community. The evaluation demonstrated that lidar acquisition at quality level 2 for the conterminous United States and quality level 5 ifsar data for Alaska with a 6- to 10-year acquisition cycle provided the highest benefit/cost ratios. The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) initiative selected an 8-year acquisition cycle for the respective quality levels. 3DEP, managed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Office of Management and Budget Circular A–16 lead agency for terrestrial elevation data, responds to the growing need for high-quality topographic data and a wide range of other 3D representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features.