The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP)

Submitted by atripp on

The goal of the USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is to complete nationwide coverage of lidar data for the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) for Alaska within 8 years—that is, by 2023--contingent upon sufficient funding. 3DEP is a cooperative program designed to meet the needs of a broad range of stakeholders and leverage substantial data investments and contributions through Federal, State, Tribal, and private sector partnerships. 3DEP relies on the expertise and capacity of private sector mapping firms to acquire the data. High-resolution elevation data are essential to a broad range of applications including infrastructure development, flood risk management, critical minerals assessment, emergency planning, energy development, precision agriculture, natural resources management, and more.

The USGS is responsible for the quality control, management, and delivery of 3DEP data including lidar point clouds, digital elevation models (DEMs) at multiple resolutions (including 1 meter), and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) orthorectified intensity images. As of May 2018, 3DEP-quality elevation data are available or in production for 48% of the Nation, including 96% of IfSAR data in progress or available for Alaska. 3DEP data are collected, quality-controlled, and delivered to meet community-accepted USGS specifications, enabling a broad range of applications that rely on consistent foundational data. 3DEP lidar and IfSAR data are publicly available free of charge at

Status of 3DEP quality data as of July 2018.


Author Name
Vicki Lukas
Author Email