Summer 2011

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning

Composite Image Service
Chronic Wasting Update
LiDAR Update
Metadata Workgroup

Global Elevation Data

Higher Education
Accessibility Matrix & Maps



Minnesota Elevation Mapping Project Update
By Tim Loesch, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

There has been much activity and progress made over the past couple of months on the Minnesota Elevation Mapping Project. The major milestones include:

  1. Minnesota River Basin – Minnesota
    As of June 1, 2011, more than 8,000 square miles of LiDAR data has been delivered and published. This includes the counties of Douglas, Faribault, Jackson, Martin, Nobles, Rock, Pope and Waseca. All data will be delivered by June 30 and should be published by August 1.
  2. Minnesota River Basin – South Dakota
    All data has been delivered and published. This project covered an area of 1,186 square miles and was funded by the U.S. Geological Survey.
  3. Arrowhead Region
    The vendor has completed data acquisition and is now in the production process. Much of the project area, 9,300 square miles, is covered by 1.5-meter mean point spacing.  Several buy-ups to 1-meter point spacing cover the remaining 1,700 square miles. See Figure 1 for details.

    Figure 1
  4. Twin Cities Metro Region
    Major flooding of the Crow, Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix rivers proved to be quite the challenge for the project team. To ameliorate vendor concerns and to maintain cost savings due to economy of scale, the project area was modified to include additional counties to the north of the metro area. This spring, the vendor was able to complete acquisition over Benton, Isanti, Kanabec, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison and Sherburne counties. Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties are scheduled to be acquired this fall (see Figure 2).

    Figure 2
  5. Proprietary County Data
    The project team has also worked with counties that have proprietary LiDAR data and has recently acquired data from Blue Earth, Chisago, Rice, and Stearns counties for public distribution.
  6. Improved Access to LiDAR Data
    The DNR has recently published a new FTP site for data download. The site can be accessed at: (

    This is an anonymous FTP site where all published data for the state will be posted. Due to the large size of the files you’ll need to use a true FTP client rather than a browser. Browsers were not built to download the quantity of information that is in LiDAR data and perform poorly. The site is well organized and documented. Also available are training materials, workshop materials and tools.

    Data are primarily organized by county but you will find project-specific data there as well. All external data is being reformatted to meet the standards used for the project.

For more information, see the project website or contact Tim Loesch, or 651-259-5475.