US: Quantum Spatial, Inc. (QSI), the nation’s largest independent geospatial data firm, announced that it is currently working on more than two dozen Lidar collection projects designed to address the country’s need for high-quality topographic data in support of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) program. 3DEP, which provides matching federal funds for large-area Lidar collections that benefit multi-agency groups with common geospatial needs, will open its application process on August 31, 2018, with a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for fiscal year 2019. Proposals will be due by October 26, 2018.
Since inception of the of the 3DEP program, QSI has worked with a diverse range of public agencies and private sector organizations seeking federal assistance to finance Lidar collections. In addition to providing Lidar survey and data analytics services, QSI also has fostered coalition building among disparate groups that have Lidar needs in the same geographic area, and provided guidance and support for project justifications, shared cost models and project specifications.
“QSI has been our trusted partner on 3DEP projects throughout the State of Wisconsin for many years. Together our firms have completed more than 20,000 square miles of Lidar surveys across the State,” said Jason Krueger, manager of Aerial Mapping at Ayres Associates. “As we move into the FY2019 project year, we look forward to working closely with them on additional projects that will bring the many benefits of the 3DEP program to participants at the federal and state level.”
3DEP Yields Real Community and Business Value
Working on 33 BAA projects since 2015, QSI continues to see how the Lidar data collected delivers value to the agencies, companies and other organizations in the geographic areas surveyed. Recent projects, awarded under the FY2018 BAA, include:
● North Slope Borough, Alaska – On the Arctic coast, this area is home to eight communities, and subject to increasing erosion, flooding and subsidence that has been exacerbated in recent years by melting permafrost and sea ice retreat. QSI worked with North Slope Borough officials to design the project scope and technical specifications and assisted with developing a cost share model. Now, QSI is in the process of collecting data across 458 square miles, which will provide a crucial baseline for monitoring the impact these changes have on infrastructure, as well as support emergency response efforts and assessment of gravel resources for infrastructure projects.
● Wisconsin Land Information Program (WLIP) – WLIP, working in partnership with the counties of Fond Du Lac, Calumet, Waupaca, Green Lake, Clark and Price, is undertaking a survey of 4,791 square miles, including the last four counties in Wisconsin without Lidar coverage. The elevation layer data will be used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for floodplain delineation projects, as well as by the Environmental Protection Agency and county land conservation offices for watershed/pollution monitoring. It also will benefit other federal and state agencies, tribal organizations, private businesses and individuals for planning and zoning, land conservation, utilities, roads and economic development activities. QSI is partnering with Ayres Associates to design and complete this latest component of an ongoing multi-year program to complete Lidar coverage throughout Wisconsin. This partnership has expanded dramatically since 2010, resulting in cost savings and better data sets for all participants.
● Crown of Maine – Since 2010, QSI has performed several Lidar projects, including four 3DEP BAA-funded projects covering more than 23,500 square miles throughout Maine. The most recent project is with the Maine GeoLibrary and Maine Office of GIS, for which QSI will acquire Lidar data across 6,691 square miles to complete the GeoLibrary’s long-term plan to achieve initial statewide coverage. The project is supported by several partners, including the Baxter State Park; Town of Carrabassett Valley, Maine; Cooperative Forest Research Unit; Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands; Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Maine Department of Transportation; Maine Geological Survey; the Nature Conservancy; Pattern; State of Maine Emergency Management Agency; Sunrise County Economic Council; USGS; USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Maine office; and private landowners. The GeoLibrary is leveraging the Lidar data to support widespread public distribution of geospatial information. Data will be used to modernize local government land records, promote innovative uses of public information for economic development and reduce costs.
● Prince of Wales Island, Alaska – In an earlier BAA award, QSI surveyed 2,055 square miles of Prince of Wales in Alaska, through a project for The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service, Sealaska and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Working on phase two of the project in 2018, with additional partners the Metlakatla Indian Community and Organized Village of Kake, QSI will survey the southeast portion of the island, which is dominated by closed-canopy, coniferous forest and steep slopes. The project will assist ongoing U.S. Forest Service land management programs, measure current and future timber availability, aid in economically critical fish management studies, evaluate transportation infrastructure, detect geologic hazards, and characterize cultural heritage and mining sites. In addition to doing conducting the survey, QSI was instrumental in helping The Nature Conservancy develop the project and a cost share model, organize groups with similar interests to join the project, and draft the BAA proposal.
“The 3DEP program is unique in that it helps federal agencies, as well as state and local governments and private organizations, minimize their costs for collecting valuable geospatial information, while maximizing its impact for a variety of uses – including flood risk management, wildfire management, planning and response, natural resources conservation, coastal and riverine protection, infrastructure management and geologic resource assessment,” said Michael Shillenn, vice president at QSI. “QSI is proud of our work helping foster these collaborative partnerships and providing the advanced surveys and data analytics that deliver insights into our country’s constantly changing natural and constructed features.”
Organizations or agencies interested in learning more about the 3DEP program and how QSI can help, download this information sheet or contact Michael Shillenn at mshillenn (at) quantumspatial (dot) com or Oriane Taft at otaft (at) quantumspatial (dot) com.