Summer 2012

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Member Portal Upgrade 
2012 Spring Workshops 

New State GIO
State Govt IT Consolidation
Driftwatch Crop Registry
GLO Field Notes Online 
Altered Watercourse Project
Emergency Prep. Blog Update
PCA websites

GECCo Report
Spatial Hotdish

Make-A-Map Upgrade

New Ramsey Co Map Site 
Dakota Co Transport Plan 
State Monuments on Google Earth

National Elevation Assessment
Landsat 40th Anniversary

Higher Education
GISSO Job Fair Report

Other Places
Future Trends in GIS Mgmt



National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA) Study Complete
This article was modified with permission from Howard Veregin’s article in the Wisconsin Mapping Bulletin.      

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been the lead agency for the recent National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA). This project was sponsored by the National Digital Elevation Program (NDEP), composed of 12 member agencies and the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). The USGS served as the managing partner on the project. Participants in the study included 34 federal agencies, all 50 states and U.S. territories, tribal governments, private companies and non-profits, and a sample of local governments. 

Uses and Benefits of Enhanced Elevation Data

The goal of NEEA is to document business uses and benefits of enhanced elevation data with the ultimate goal of expanding elevation data availability and quality nationwide. The NEEA survey identified over 600 functional activities that make use of high-resolution elevation data, which were then grouped into 27 business uses. The monetary benefits of enhanced elevation data were then assessed for each of these business uses.

According to the survey, the business uses with the greatest potential benefits nationally include flood risk management (benefits of $295 to $502 million per year), infrastructure and construction management ($206 to $942 million per year), natural resources conservation ($159 to $335 million per year), agriculture and precision farming ($122 to $2,011 million per year), and land navigation and safety ($0.2 to $7,125 million per year). Other business uses – including water quality, geologic resource assessment, and aviation safety – have benefits that are somewhat smaller but still on the order of tens of millions of dollars per year.

Snapshot of Data Status

The NEEA also provides a snapshot of elevation data status across the U.S. About 28 percent of the country (excluding Alaska) is covered by publicly available LiDAR data. Most of this data is at “Quality Level 3” which implies a density of 0.25 to 1 points per square meter, a vertical Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) less than or equal to 18.5 cm, and an equivalent contour accuracy of 2 feet.

The effort to inventory high resolution digital elevation data at a national scale began in 2011 and will be reviewed again in the summer of 2012.

More Information

  • The NEEA website will contain the project summary report along with program recommendations and additional documents related to the study
  • An exhaustive 800+ page report is available through Dewberry, the project consultant.
  • The USGS has provided briefings on the NEEA study at several venues, including the NSGIC meeting in February 2012.
  • USGS Associate Director Kevin Gallagher also provided a presentation on the NEEA Summary and Program Recommendations at a meeting of the National Geospatial Advisory Council in April 2012.