Spring 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning
Award Nominations Open

GIS Drive to Excellence
GIS Pandemic Needs
GeoService Finder
Red River LIDAR
Groundwater Webmap
08 Photo Update
Improving Structures Data

Governor's Council
Strategic Planning Directions
Award Nominations Open
Meeting Webcasts

OpenSource Group

Input for State Planning
Goodhue User Group

Census Atlas
Census PSAP
NGAC Named
USGS Research Agenda
Sunspots Impact GPS
GPS with Maps
Geology Map
Soil Viewer Update
Recycle Cell Phones

Higher Education
Dangermond to Speak
UofM Career Day
GIS Primer

Borchert Remembered
Two Minnesotans on NGAC
Jay Bell
Bob McMaster

Other Places
Free GPS Visualizer
Global Incident Map
Russian GPS Update


High Resolution Elevation Data Available on DNR Data Deli
By Tim Loesch, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

High resolution elevation data products have been added to the DNR Data Deli from the recent LiDAR collection project conducted in portions of the Red River Watershed in 2006. The data products include contour line features along with gridded DEMs. To access the Data Deli, go to:, then look for the "High Resolution Elevation Contours" and "High Resolution Elevation Model (DEM)" layers.

Data Partnership and Area Covered

The data was collected as a partnership of state, federal and local entities including Norman, Mahnomen and Clay counties, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the White Earth Indian Reservation, the Wild Rice Watershed District and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The map below shows the area of the collect. The green areas represent data capable of producing 1-foot contours while the purple areas represent data capable of producing 2-foot contours at the 95% confidence interval.

Data Characteristics

The grids are 3-square-meter cell size and were derived from LiDAR points and edge-of-water breakline features that were stored in an ESRI Terrain dataset. The vertical values for this dataset are meters represented as floating point numeric values. Remember that when you download gridded products from the Data Deli that they are in ASCII transfer format. If you are using ArcMAP you will need to use the "ASCII to Raster" tool found in the "Conversion Tools: To Raster" toolset.

The contour data is either 1- or 2-foot contours, depending on the data used to derive the contours (see graphic). These data are 3D polyline shapefiles and their elevation values are in feet.

Both data sets are in the UTM Zone 15 projection, referenced to the NAD83 horizontal datum and to the NAVD88 vertical datum. They are quite large and are tiled in U.S. Geological Survey quarter-quadrangle format to facilitate rapid downloading.

The LiDAR data will also be distributed from the USGS CLICK site at and is in the process of being integrated into the distribution system. During a recent check of the site the data is not currently posted but it is expected soon.

More Information

Contact Tim Loesch at for more information.

Also see: