Woolpert has entered a contract with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to collect high-resolution LiDAR elevation data for three projects across 49 Tennessee counties, meeting QL2 accuracy standards. The counties involved are primarily located east of Nashville to the North Carolina border.

The LiDAR collected will address many needs, including the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation’s (TDEC) reclamation efforts from coal mining using mountain top removal practices across the Cumberland plateau, according to Sam Moffat, Woolpert program director.

Two of the three contracts directly support the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), which is a USGS initiative to collect accurate, high-resolution data via LiDAR to establish a national map. The third contract, which covers three counties in western Tennessee and meets 3DEP standards, was performed in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

In 46 of the 49 counties, Woolpert is also extracting building footprints from the LiDAR as a value-added service.

“Building footprints were the highest-priority planimetric feature requested throughout the state of Tennessee,” Moffat says. “Structure features can be used by multiple agency and government resources to improve their GIS for public safety, emergency and flood management, as well as property valuation.”

Dennis Pedersen, director of GIS services for the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, lauds the collection.

“This project represents the value of GIS coordination across all levels of government,” Pedersen says. “It provides highly accurate elevation data for a wide variety of consumers for pennies on the dollar.”

Moffat credits the partnerships established between the TDEC, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Office of Strategic Technology Solutions, as well as the Tennessee NRCS and the local county offices and municipalities, for their roles in this effort.

About Woolpert

Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm that strategically blends engineering with technology and geospatial applications. With a dynamic R&D department, Woolpert works with business partners like Google; operates a fleet of planes, sensors and unmanned aerial systems (UAS); and continually works with advanced water technologies, asset management, building information modeling (BIM) and sustainable design. For more than 100 years and with 24 offices across the U.S., Woolpert serves the needs of federal, state and local governments; private and public companies and universities; energy and transportation departments; and the U.S. armed forces.