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Short Citation:
OCM Partners, 2023: 2010 U.S. Geological Survey Topographic LiDAR: Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana,

Item Identification

Title: 2010 U.S. Geological Survey Topographic LiDAR: Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana
Short Name: usgs2010_AtchafalayaBasin_m1433_metadata
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2013-01

The Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) dataset is a survey of the Atchafalaya Basin in south-central Louisiana. The entire survey area encompasses 981 square miles. The LiDAR point cloud was flown at a

nominal post spacing of 1.0 meters for unobscured areas. The LiDAR data is in compliance with the U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Program Guidelines and Base Specifications,

Version 13-ILMF 2010. The Flightlines were acquired by Northrop Grumman, 3001 Operating Unit, which required 10 subsequent missions between December 2, 2010, and December 7, 2010.

Northrop Grumman classified the data into the following ASPRS compliant classes:

Class 1: Processed, but unclassified

Class 2: Bare Earth Ground

Class 3: Low Vegetation

Class 4: Medium Vegetation (also used for manual classification of vegetation returns)

Class 5: High Vegetation

Class 6: Buildings and man-made structures

Class 7: Noise (low or high, manually identified)

Class 9: Water

Class 10: Ignored Ground (Breakline Proximity)

Class 13: Withheld (outliers, blunders, etc.)

Original contact information:

Contact Org: NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Phone: 843-740-1202



This regional LiDAR elevation mapping will be used for modeling, predicting landscape change, promoting restoration of ecosystems, and mitigating risks associated with anthropomorphic and natural hazards.



Supplemental Information:

The project report for this data set may be accessed at:

The survey report for this data set may be accessed at:

A footprint of this data set may be viewed in Google Earth at:


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category

Physical Location

Organization: Office for Coastal Management
City: Charleston
State/Province: SC

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: As Needed
Data Presentation Form: las
Entity Attribute Overview:

LiDAR points in LAS 1.2 format

Entity Attribute Detail Citation:


Distribution Liability:

Any conclusions drawn from the analysis of this information are not the responsibility

of Northrop Grumman, USGS, the Office for Coastal Management or its partners.

Data Set Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 690957
Date Effective From: 2013-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Ave
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Email Address:
Phone: (843) 740-1202


CC ID: 690959
Date Effective From: 2013-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Ave
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Email Address:
Phone: (843) 740-1202

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 690960
Date Effective From: 2013-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Ave
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Email Address:
Phone: (843) 740-1202

Point of Contact

CC ID: 690958
Date Effective From: 2013-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Ave
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Email Address:
Phone: (843) 740-1202


Currentness Reference: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 1133408
W° Bound: -91.880079
E° Bound: -91.156365
N° Bound: 30.558588
S° Bound: 29.670848

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 1133407
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2010-12-02
End: 2010-12-07

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Vector: Yes

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Procedure:

This data can be obtained on-line at the following URL:


Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

Users should be aware that temporal changes may have occurred since this data set was collected

and some parts of this data may no longer represent actual surface conditions. Users should not use

this data for critical applications without a full awareness of its limitations. These data

depict the heights at the time of the survey and are only accurate for that time.

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 743095
Download URL:
File Name: Customized Download

Create custom data files by choosing data area, product type, map projection, file format, datum, etc.

Distribution 2

CC ID: 743096
Download URL:
File Name: Bulk Download

Simple download of data files.



CC ID: 743098
URL Type:
Online Resource


CC ID: 743099
URL Type:
Online Resource


CC ID: 743100
Name: Browse Graphic
URL Type:
Browse Graphic
File Resource Format: kmz

This graphic shows the lidar coverage for the Atchafalaya Basin covering portions of St. Landry, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, St. Martin, St. Mary, Assumption and Iberia Parishes in Louisiana.

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 690980
Activity Date/Time: 2016-05-23

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 690979
Activity Date/Time: 2017-11-14

Converted from FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 718717
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 743097
Activity Date/Time: 2018-03-13

Partial upload to move data access links to Distribution Info.

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows XP Version 5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 3; ESRI ArcCatalog

Data Quality

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

All ground control processing and adjustment is performed using published coordinate horizontal and vertical datums (e.g. NGS CORS). For deliverables, Corpscon for Windows Version 5.11.08

(geoid 09) was used for horizontal and vertical datum conversion.

Vertical Positional Accuracy:

The accuracy assessment was performed using a standard method to compute the root mean square error (RMSE) based on a comparison of ground control points (GCP) and filtered LiDAR data points. Filtered LiDAR data has had

vegetation and cultural features removed and by analysis represents bare earth elevations. Testing was performed prior to gridding of the filtered LiDAR data points and construction of the ERDAS IMG file format. The RMSE

figure was used to compute the vertical National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy (NSSDA). Ground control was established by Northrop Grumman, 3001 Operating Unit. A spatial proximity analysis was used to select edited LiDAR

data points contiguous to the relevant GCPs. A search radius decision rule is applied with consideration of terrain complexity, cumulative error and adequate sample size. Cumulative error results from the errors inherent in the

various sources of horizontal measurement. These sources include the airborne GPS, GCPs and the uncertainty of the accuracy of the LiDAR data points. This accuracy is achieved prior to the subsampling that occurs through

integration with the inertial measurement unit (IMU) positions that are recorded. It is unclear at this time whether the initial accuracy is maintained. The horizontal accuracy of the GCPs is estimated to be in the range of

approximately 1 to 1.6 inches. Finally, sample size was considered. The specification for the National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy is a minimum of 20 points to conduct a statistically significant accuracy evaluation

(Minnesota Planning, 1999, Positional Accuracy Handbook, Minnesota Planning Land Management Information Center, St. Paul, Minnesota., p.3). Most statistical texts indicate that a minimum of 30 sample points provide a reasonable

Approximation of a normal distribution. The intent of the NSSDA is to reflect the geographic area of interest and the distribution of error in the data set (Federal Geographic Data Committee, 1998, Geospatial National Standard

for Spatial Data Accuracy, Federal Geographic Data Committee Secretariat, Reston, Virginia, p.3-4). Additional steps were taken to ensure the vertical accuracy of the LiDAR data including: Step 1: Precision Bore sighting

(Check Edge-matching) Step 2: Compare the LiDAR data to the Field Survey (The vertical accuracy requirements meet or exceed the required RMSEz of 18.5cm and the vertical accuracy of 36.3cm at the 95% confidence level).

Completeness Report:

The LiDAR data was acquired at a density sufficient to support a one meter post spacing. The bare-earth surface will contain voids in areas that were densely vegetated, covered by bridges, buildings, water, fresh

asphalt, sand etc.

Conceptual Consistency:

Northrop Grumman, 3001 Operating Unit, used an ALTM 213 system to acquire LiDAR data at a density sufficient to support an one meter post spacing of for unobscured areas. During acquisition the plane was

never more than 40 kilometers from a base station. Northrop Grumman acquired flight lines between December 2, 2010, and December 7, 2010 at an altitude of 5000 feet; using a field of view of 34 degrees. The total swath width of

each flight line is 931 meters. The distance between flight lines is 690 meters and each flight line has 28 percent overlap. The Atchafalaya Basin Survey was collected under the guidance of a Professional Mapper/Surveyor.



Atchafalaya Basin LiDAR Survey

CC ID: 1133401
Extent Type: Range
Extent Start Date/Time: 2010-12-02
Extent End Date/Time: 2010-12-07
Scale Denominator: 24000
Source Contribution:

The Atchafalaya Basin LiDAR Survey was acquired for the U.S. Geological Survey and processed by Northrop Grumman, 3001 Operating Unit. | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: digital tape media

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 1133402

The ABGPS, inertial measurement unit (IMU), and raw scans are collected during the LiDAR aerial survey. The ABGPS monitors the xyz position of the sensor and the IMU monitors the orientation.

During the aerial survey, laser pulses reflected from features on the ground surface are detected by the receiver optics and collected by the data logger. GPS locations are based on data collected by receivers on

the aircraft and base stations on the ground. The ground base stations are placed no more than 40 km radius from the flight survey area.

Process Date/Time: 2010-12-01 00:00:00

Process Step 2

CC ID: 1133403

The ABGPS, IMU, and raw scans are integrated using proprietary software developed by Optech and delivered with the Optech ALTM 213 System. The resultant file is in a LAS binary file format.

The LAS version 1.2 file format can be easily transferred from one file format to another. It is a binary file format that maintains information specific to the LiDAR data (return number, intensity value, xyz, etc.).

The resultant points are produced in the NAD83 UTM Zone 15 coordinate system, with units in meters and referenced to the NAVD88 datum. The LiDAR mass points were processed in American Society for Photogrammetry and

Remote Sensing LAS 1.2 format. The header file for each dataset is complete as defined by the LAS 1.2 specification. The datasets were divided into a 1500 meters by 1500 meters tiling scheme. The tiles are contiguous,

do not overlap, and are suitable for seamless topographic data mosaics that include no "no data" areas. The names of the tiles include alphabetic column and numeric row designations and all files utilize the LAS file extension.

Process Date/Time: 2010-12-01 00:00:00

Process Step 3

CC ID: 1133404

The unedited data are classified to facilitate the application of the appropriate feature extraction filters. A combination of proprietary filters are applied as appropriate for the production of bare earth

models (DEMs). Interactive editing methods are applied to those areas where it is inappropriate or impossible to use the feature extraction filters, based upon the design criteria and/or limitations of the relevant filters.

These same feature extraction filters are used to produce elevation height surfaces.

Process Date/Time: 2011-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 4

CC ID: 1133405

The NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) received topographic files in LAS format. The files contained lidar

elevation and intensity measurements. The data were received in NAD83 UTM Zone 15 Coordinates

and were vertically referenced to NAVD88 using the Geoid09 model. The vertical units of the data were

meters. OCM performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes:

1. The topographic las files were converted from orthometric (NAVD88) heights to ellipsoidal heights using Geoid09.

2. The topographic las files were converted from UTM Zone 15 (meters) to Geographic coordinates (decimal degrees).

3. ASPRS Class 11 (Withheld) was changed to Class 13 (Withheld).

Process Date/Time: 2013-01-01 00:00:00

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 50113
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:50113
Metadata Record Created By: Anne Ball
Metadata Record Created: 2017-11-15 15:24+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2022-08-09 17:11+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2022-03-16
Owner Org: OCMP
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2022-03-16
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2023-03-16