Technology continues to conquer new frontiers, including infrastructure and construction management. One new instance is a 3D Elevation Program.

As one example, the USGS (United States Geological Survey) recently contracted with Woolpert,, Dayton, Ohio, for the first 3DEP (3D Elevation Program) project awarded in conjunction with the BAA (Broad Agency Announcement), released in mid-2014.

The USGS received BAA funding proposals from multiple states in support of this 3DEP initiative. In the process of awarding the BAA projects throughout the country, the USGS has announced this 3DEP project in Mississippi as the first.

Data will be collected using lidar (light detection and ranging), which is an optical remote-sensing technique that uses laser light to densely sample the surface of the earth, producing highly accurate x, y, z measurements.

Per the USGS, the data will be used to support high-value applications, such as flood risk management, agriculture and precision farming, infrastructure and construction management, natural resource management and conservation, and geologic resource assessment and hazard mitigation.

More specifically, in Mississippi, the data will be used to update soil surveys, slope maps and wetland delineations, as well as by archaeologists for the preservation of historic sites.

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