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June 19th, 2024
Woolpert Awarded $6.8M Contract to Collect Aerial Lidar Data Across Southern California for USGS

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These data will support the 3D Elevation Program and help update and enhance The National Map.

INDEPENDENCE, Calif. (June 19, 2024) — The U.S. Geological Survey has tasked Woolpert with acquiring Quality Level 1 lidar data and providing ground control survey across Southern California in support of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) and The National Map.

Led by the USGS National Geospatial Program, 3DEP offers the nation’s first baseline of seamless, high-resolution topographic elevation data, which is then incorporated into The National Map. These data are publicly available to local, state, and national agencies. They are used to inform decisions that impact the immediate safety of life, property, and the environment, and they are essential to effective, long-term infrastructure planning.

Under this task order, Woolpert will collect 23,007 square miles of aerial lidar data throughout Inyo County, including parts of the Mojave Desert and Death Valley National Park, using a Leica TerrainMapper. QL1 data are collected at 8 points per square meter.

“Woolpert has had the honor of supporting the U.S. Geological Survey’s 3D Elevation Program since its launch nearly a decade ago,” Woolpert Vice President and Program Director John Gerhard said. “Critical decisions that depend on accurate and available elevation data are being made every day, and we are incredibly proud to continue our support for the U.S. Geological Survey and its commitment to completing the nation’s first-ever baseline of consistent high-resolution elevation data.”

Gerhard said the data acquired for this project will also support the USGS 3D Hydrography Program (3DHP).

“The area we are flying is unique and includes collecting data for Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in North America, located at the very bottom of Death Valley. Earlier this year, rare heavy rainfall across the region resulted in an ancient lake reappearing in Badwater Basin,” Gerhard said. “This is an incredible opportunity to capture data during such a unique phenomenon.”

The project is underway, and data is expected to be acquired by fall 2024.

About Woolpert
Woolpert is the premier architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG), and strategic consulting firm, with a vision to become one of the best companies in the world. We innovate within and across markets to effectively serve public, private, and government clients worldwide. Woolpert is a Global Top 100 Geospatial Company, a Top 100 ENR Global Design firm, has earned seven Great Place to Work certifications, and actively nurtures a culture of growth, inclusion, diversity, and respect. Founded in 1911 in Dayton, Ohio, Woolpert has been America’s fastest-growing AEG firm since 2015. Woolpert has over 2,500 employees and more than 60 offices on five continents. For more, visit

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