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OCM Partners, 2023: 2012 USGS-FEMA Lidar: Virginia Northern Counties (South),

Item Identification

Title: 2012 USGS-FEMA Lidar: Virginia Northern Counties (South)
Short Name: va2012_usgs_fema_northernco_S_m4729_metadata
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2015-01-12

Dewberry collected LiDAR for ~3,341 square miles in various Virginia Counties, a part of Worcester County, and Hoopers Island. The acquisition was performed by Terrapoint. This metadata covers the LiDAR produced for the Virginia Counties North project area. The nominal pulse spacing for this project is 1.6 ft (0.5 meters). This project was collected with a sensor which collects intensity values for each discrete pulse extracted from the waveform. GPS Week Time, Intensity, Flightline and echo number attributes were provided for each LiDAR point. Dewberry used proprietary procedures to classify the LAS according to contract specifications: 1-Unclassified, 2-Ground, 7-Noise, 9-Water, 10-Ignored Ground due to breakline proximity, and 11-Withheld (Reclassed to 15). Dewberry produced 3D breaklines and combined these with the final LiDAR data to produce seamless hydro flattened DEMs for the 2,140 tiles (5000 ft x 5000 ft) that cover the project area.

This collection has been divided into 2 parts (North and South), due to a portion of the data being collected in two zones: Virginia State Plane North 4501 and Virginia State Plane South 4502.


The purpose of this LiDAR data was to produce high accuracy 3D elevation products, including tiled LiDAR in LAS 1.2 format, 3D breaklines, and a 2.5 ft cell size hydro flattened Digital Elevation Models (DEM).




Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category

Temporal Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None 2012

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 LAZ format (Classes 1,2,7,9,10,15)

Entity Attribute Detail Citation:


Distribution Liability:

Any conclusions drawn from the analysis of this information are not the responsibility of USGS, FEMA, Dewberry, NOAA, the Office for Coastal Management or its partners.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 691618
Date Effective From: 2015-01-12
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: 691620
Date Effective From: 2015-01-12
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: 691621
Date Effective From: 2015-01-12
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: 691619
Date Effective From: 2015-01-12
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: 1136219
W° Bound: -77.713172
E° Bound: -76.506493
N° Bound: 38.944008
S° Bound: 37.746085

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 1136218
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2011-04-19
End: 2012-02-10

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: 743193
Start Date: 2015
End Date: Present
Download URL:
Distributor: NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM) (2015-01-12 - Present)
File Name: Bulk Download

Simple download of data files.

File Type: LAZ

Distribution 2

CC ID: 743192
Start Date: 2014
End Date: Present
Download URL:
Distributor: NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM) (2015-01-12 - Present)
File Name: Customized Download

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

File Type: Zip



CC ID: 743195
Name: survey report
URL Type:
Online Resource
File Resource Format: pdf

Survey report from the lidar contractor.


CC ID: 743197
Name: Browse Graphic
URL Type:
Browse Graphic
File Resource Format: kmz

This graphic shows the coverage of the 2012 USGS-FEMA Virginia Northern Counties (South) lidar collection.

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 691645
Activity Date/Time: 2016-05-23

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 691644
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: 718735
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 743194
Activity Date/Time: 2018-03-13

Partial upload to move data access links to Distribution Info.

Data Quality

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

Lidar source compiled to meet 1.0 m horizontal RMSE.; Quantitative Value: 1.0 meters, Test that produced the value: Dewberry does not perform independent horizontal accuracy testing on the LiDAR. LiDAR vendors perform calibrations on the LiDAR sensor and compare data to adjoing flight lines to ensure LiDAR meets the 3.28 ft horizontal accuracy standard at the 95% confidence level. Please see the final project report for more details.

Vertical Positional Accuracy:

The breaklines are derived from the source LiDAR. Vertical Accuracy is not tested on the breaklines.

The vertical accuracy of the LiDAR was tested by Dewberry with 66 independently collected checkpoints. The survey checkpoints are distributed throughout the project area. These 66 checkpoints contain 21 open terrain points, 24 crops/weeds points, and 21 forested points. The 66 checkpoints were used to compute the Fundamental Vertical Accuracy (FVA) and the Consolidated Vertical Accuracy (CVA). Project specifications required a FVA of 0.60 feet for open terrain and a CVA of 1.195 feet.

Appendix A, Guidance for Aerial Mapping and Surveying, to FEMAs Guidelines and Specifications for Flood Hazard Mapping Partners requires a minimum of 60 test points -- 20 each in a minimum of three land cover categories representative of the floodplain. FEMAs Procedure Memorandum No. 61 - Standards for Lidar and Other High Quality Digital Topography -- specifies that the positional accuracy of LiDAR shall be in accordance with ASPRS/NDEP standards for accuracy testing as well as the USGS Lidar Guidelines and Base Specifications, v13. All of these standards and guidelines require testing for Fundamental Vertical Accuracy (FVA), Supplemental Vertical Accuracy (SVA), and Consolidated Vertical Accuracy (CVA), using a minimum of 20 checkpoints each in a minimum of three land cover categories for a minimum total of 60 QA/QC checkpoints.; Quantitative Value: 0.082 meters, Test that produced the value: The NSSDA RMSEZ is 0.082 m in open terrain which meets project specifications of 0.091 m.

The fundamental vertical accuracy is 0.165 m which meets project specifications of 0.183 m.

The consolidated vertical accuracy is 0.250 m which meets project specifications of 0.364 m.

Completeness Report:

A visual qualitative assessment was performed to ensure data completeness and bare earth data cleanliness. No void or missing data, the bare earth surface is of good quality and data passes vertical accuracy specifications.

Conceptual Consistency:

Data covers the tile scheme provided for the project area.


Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 1136207

- Establishment of survey points to support the LiDAR data collection.

two existing published NGS stations (HV5411, GV1969) were observed in a GPS control network and used to establish one new points for the primary control for this site.

1110305, 1110306 was observed and used to control all flight missions and static ground surveys.

The following are the final coordinates of the control points used for this project:

SurveyBlock, Station, Latitude(D M S Hem), Longitude(D M S Hem), H-Ell(m), H-MSL(m)

Counties Middle,1110305/Log0503d/HANO, N 37 42 26.28275, W-77 26 13.13327, 28.5836, 61.4241

Counties Middle,1110306/Log0505t/KENT, N 37 30 06.65193, W-77 07 33.81068, -0.137, 33.4957

Process Date/Time: 2011-04-01 00:00:00

Process Step 2

CC ID: 1136209

- Airborne acquisition of Lidar

Terrapoint used one Optech ALTM 3100EA system to collect the data.

The Optech System was configured in the following method:

Aircraft Speed 150 knots

Data Acquisition Height 950 m AGL

Swath Width 691.54 m

Distance between Flight Lines 311.2 m

Overlap 55 %

Scanner Field Of View 22 +/- degrees (+/-2 degrees flagged as withheld)

Pulse Repetition Rate 70 KHz

Scan Frequency 40 Hz

Number of Returns per Pulse 4 Discrete returns

Beam Divergence 0.3 mRad

Flight Line Length shorter than 70km

Base Station Distance shorter than 40km

Resultant Raw Point Density ~2 pt/m2 with overlap

Aircraft platforms were used in the collection of this project:

A Piper Navajo aircraft was used to conduct the aerial survey. The Navaho is a fixed wing aircraft that have an endurance of approximately 5 hours.

-GPS-IMU: High accuracy IMU (200Hz) and GPS information (1Hz) concerning the attitude and position of the sensor were acquired at the same time as the Laser data.

Ground based GPS stations also acquired consecutive GPS information for the duration of the flights.

A combination of Sokkia GSR 2600 and NovAtel DL-4+ dual-frequency GPS receivers were used to support the airborne operations of this survey.

- Flights and Flight Lines

The area is covered by several missions, a mission is defined as the block of acquisition between aircraft take-off and landing flown under good meteorological and GPS conditions, and each mission includes multiple flightlines.

Number Of Missions: 10

List Of Missions: o211126a o211127c o211130a o511122a o511122b o511124a o511125a o511126a o511127b o511129a

Number Of Flight Lines: 144

Process Date/Time: 2011-04-01 00:00:00

Process Step 3

CC ID: 1136210

- Airborne GPS Kinematic processing

Airborne GPS kinematic data was processed on-site using GrafNav kinematic On-The-Fly (OTF) software. Flights were flown with a minimum of 6 satellites in view (13o above the horizon) and with a PDOP of better than 4. Distances from base station to aircraft were kept to a maximum of 40 km, to ensure a strong OTF (On-The-Fly) solution. For all flights, the GPS data can be classified as excellent, with GPS residuals of 3cm average but no larger than 10 cm being recorded.

The Geoid09 geoid model, published by the NGS, was used to transform all ellipsoidal heights to orthometric.

Process Date/Time: 2011-04-01 00:00:00

Process Step 4

CC ID: 1136211

- Generation and Calibration of laser points

Laser data points are generated using Optechs software Dashmap. Those software combine the raw laser range and angle data file with the finalized GPS/IMU trajectory information.

Each mission is evaluated in Terrasolids Terramatch software to correct any residual roll pitch heading misalignments, if necessary those values are to the data.

The resulting point cloud is projected into the desired coordinate system and created in LAS format. One file per swath, files bigger than 2Gb split in 2.

On a project level, a coverage check is carried out to ensure no slivers are present.

Process Date/Time: 2011-05-01 00:00:00

Process Step 5

CC ID: 1136212

- Mission to mission adjustments of Lidar data

All missions are validated and adjusted against the adjoining

missions for relative vertical biases and collected GPS static and kinematic

ground truthing points for absolute vertical accuracy purposes.

Process Date/Time: 2011-06-01 00:00:00

Process Step 6

CC ID: 1136213

-Deliverable Product Generation

Raw Lidar point are projected were reprojected from UTM zone 18 to the delivery projection State Plane Virginia, US Survey Feet.

*Raw Calibrated LIDAR Point Cloud

Raw LiDAR point cloud, was provided in the following formats/parameters:

- LAS V1.2, point record format 1, Adjusted GPS time, georeferencing information populated in header

- The following fields are included in the LAS file:

1. Adjusted GPS time reported to the nearest microsecond

2. Flight line ID

3. Easting (reported to the nearest 0.01ft)

4. Northing (reported to the nearest 0.01ft)

5. Elevation (reported to the nearest 0.01ft)

6. intensity

7. Echo number

8. Classification

9. Scan angle

10. Edge of scan

11. Scan direction

- Full swaths, all collected points delivered (except discarded flightline)

- The Withheld bit flags the last 2 degrees of the swath (Additional areas are classified with the withheld in areas where wind or vegetation affected the quality of the data long the edge of the flight line. The classification of the additional withheld areas does not affect the density of the data.)

- 1 file per swath, 1 swath per file (except when swath had to be divided in section for size or calibration)

Process Date/Time: 2011-07-01 00:00:00

Process Step 7

CC ID: 1136214

Dewberry utilizes a variety of software suites for inventory management, classification, and data processing. All LiDAR related processes begin by importing the data into the GeoCue task management software. GeoCue allows the data to retain its delivered tiling scheme (5000 ft by 5000 ft). The tiled data is then opened in Terrascan where Dewberry uses proprietary ground classification routines to remove any non-ground points and generate an accurate ground surface. The ground routine consists of three main parameters (building size, iteration angle, and iteration distance); by adjusting these parameters and running several iterations of this routine an initial ground surface is developed. The building size parameter sets a roaming window size. Each tile is loaded with neighboring points from adjacent tiles and the routine classifies the data section by section based on this roaming window size. The second most important parameter is the maximum terrain angle, which sets the highest allowed terrain angle within the model. Once the ground routine has been completed a manual quality control routine is done using hillshades, cross-sections, and profiles within the Terrasolid software suite. After this QC step, a peer review and supervisor manual inspection is completed on a percentage of the classified tiles based on the project size and variability of the terrain. After the ground classification corrections were completed, the dataset was processed through a water classification routine that utilizes breaklines compiled by Dewberry to automatically classify hydrographic features. The water classification routine selects ground points within the breakline polygons and automatically classifies them as class 9, water. During this water classification routine, points which are in close proximity (2 ft) to the hydrographic features are moved to class 10, an ignored ground. In addition to classes 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10, the project allows for a Class 7, noise points. This class was only used if needed when points could manually be identified as low/high points. Dewberry also used Class 11 - Withheld points.

The fully classified dataset is then processed through Dewberrys comprehensive quality control program.

The data was classified as follows:

Class 1 = Unclassified. This class includes vegetation, buildings, noise etc.

Class 2 = Ground

Class 7= Noise

Class 8= Model Key Points

Class 9 = Water

Class 10= Ignored Ground

Class 11= Withheld

The LAS header information was verified to contain the following:

Class (Integer)

GPS Week Time (0.0001 seconds)

Easting (0.01 ft)

Northing (0.01 ft)

Elevation (0.01 ft)

Echo Number (Integer 1 to 4)

Echo (Integer 1 to 4)

Intensity (8 bit integer)

Flight Line (Integer)

Scan Angle (Integer degree)

Process Date/Time: 2011-09-01 00:00:00

Process Step 8

CC ID: 1136215

Dewberry used GeoCue software to develop raster stereo models from the LiDAR intensity. The raster resolution was 1ft.

Process Date/Time: 2011-09-01 00:00:00

Process Step 9

CC ID: 1136216

LiDAR intensity stereopairs were viewed in 3-D stereo using Socet Set for ArcGIS softcopy photogrammetric software. The breaklines are collected directly into an ArcGIS file geodatabase to ensure correct topology. The LiDARgrammetry was performed under the direct supervision of an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist. The breaklines were stereo-compiled in accordance with the Data Dictionary.

The data dictionary defines Tidal Waters as the land and water interface at the time of LiDAR acquisition of tidally influenced bodies of water. There is no minimum area requirement. Tidal variations over the course of a collection or between different collections will result in discontinuities along shorelines. This is considered normal and these anomalies should be retained. Variations in water surface elevation resulting in tidal variations during a collection should NOT be removed or adjusted, as this would require either the removal of valid, measured ground points or the introduction of unmeasured ground into the DEM. The USGS priority is on the ground surface, and accepts there may be occasional, unavoidable irregularities in water surface.

Breaklines must be captured at or just below the elevations of the immediately surrounding terain. Under no circumstances should a feature be elevated above the surrounding LiDAR points.

If it can be reasonably determined where the edge of water most probably falls, beneath the dock or pier, then the edge of water will be collected at the elevation of the water where it can be directly measured. If there is a clearly-indicated headwall or bulkhead adjacent to the dock or pier and it is evident that the waterline is most probably adjacent to the headwall or bulkhead, then the water line will follow the headwall or bulkhead at the elevation of the water where it can be directly measured. If there is no clear indication of the location of the waters edge beneath the dock or pier, then the edge of water will follow the outer edge of the dock or pier as it is adjacent to the water, at the measured elevation of the water.

Breaklines shall snap and merge seamlessly with linear hydrographic features.

Process Date/Time: 2011-09-01 00:00:00

Process Step 10

CC ID: 1136208

The NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) received the topographic lidar files in LAS format from USGS-FEMA. The files contained lidar easting, northing, elevation, intensity, return number, etc. The data was received in both Virginia State Plane North 4501 and Virginia State Plane South 4502. OCM performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes:

1. The project was subdivided into 2 projects according to projection (Virginia State Plane North and Virginia State Plane South)

2. The files were reviewed and erroneous elevations were removed.

3. Class 11 points (witheld) were reclassified to Class 15.

4. Data were converted to geographic coordinates and ellipsoid heights in meters.

Process Date/Time: 2014-09-24 00:00:00
Process Contact: NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Phone (Voice): (843) 740-1202
Email Address:

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 50130
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:50130
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