USGS Nebraska Sandhills LiDAR

USDA- NRCS | Nebraska

For more than five years, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) has been collecting data for a statewide elevation database in Nebraska. The NRCS uses this high resolution digital elevation data for models and contours used for dam safety assessments, engineering design and design reviews, conservation planning, research, delivery, floodplain mapping, and hydrologic modeling.

Through our contract with USGS, Merrick provided aerial LiDAR collection and processing for approximately 18,110 square miles in the counties of Arthur, Blaine, Boone, Brown, Cherry, Custer, Garfield, Grant, Greeley, Hooker, Howard, Keith, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, McPherson, Rock, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas, Valley, and Wheeler. In addition, we provided control surveys and quality control check points, as well as limited geodatabase delivery and quality control.

The size of the collection area and schedule were major concerns for NRCS and USGS. Previous collection efforts covered a much smaller area and took more time than allotted for this project. Based on these past efforts and the increased size of this collection area, NRCS was concerned that the data could not be delivered on schedule. However, Merrick’s use of new technology and advanced production techniques—using our proprietary software, MARS—saves time and allows us to collect data from a larger area. We demonstrated these techniques and reassured the client that we could, in fact, deliver within the prescribed timeframe.


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