Take the 2-minute tour ×
Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I apologize for not knowing all the proper terminology to ask this question. I am seeking a commercial service for providing pay-per-use high resolution elevation data in North America. It must come with defined ToS (terms of service -- a guarantee of availability). A paid service is best.

The ideal service would return a chunk of elevation data, perhaps in ARC/INFO ASCII GRID format, on demand. Ideally this grid would be seamlessly centered on a given coordinate. For this application I need a regular grid of elevation points perhaps 2000 or 3000 grid elements in the x and y direction (if the data returned were richer LIDAR data, I would need to interpolate into a grid using las2dem or some such).

I am aware of scattered sources of free LIDAR elevation data:

  1. http://lidar.cr.usgs.gov/
  2. http://www.opentopography.org/
  3. http://calm.geo.berkeley.edu/ncalm/ddc.html

I'm seeking something that is (a) offering wider coverage with less hassle (b) a web service returning data in close to real time (c) supplying seamless data centered on a point on earth, rather than tiles (d) commercially usable and supported with terms of service (e) command line scriptable (e.g. using wget or other scriptable tools outside of a GIS). For example:

wget http://ppv.example.org?lat=37.1234&lon=-122.1234
&rows=1024&columns=1024&format=ascii_esri_grid&data_type=dsm:best_available

Is this a crazy desire, or is there something that fits the bill?

Possible question keywords: WFS, web service,hosted LIDAR data server

share|improve this question
    
If such a service existed (web service returning LIDAR points) would there be demand for it? As a paid service? A free service? –  Bryce Feb 7 '12 at 19:17
    
This probably only fits a few of your requirements (specifically you would have to supply your own LiDAR data), but QCoherent has a product called LiDAR Server that may be of interest. –  blah238 Feb 7 '12 at 20:21
    
By "close to real time" do you mean data that is constantly updated for a given area? I'm not sure that any LIDAR data continually refreshed (currently), except in very small study areas, due to costs. So I think part B over a wide area is not possible today. –  user3461 Feb 10 '12 at 15:14
    
By "real time" I mean I can query the lidar database and get data back in a few seconds. I'm not expecting that involves flying aircraft :-). Of course the data should come with metadata giving the sample date(s) for the region returned. –  Bryce Feb 12 '12 at 6:15
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted
+50

Intermap have national coverage of DSM data available via Terrain on Demand. It reportedly offers OGC compliant access on a commercial basis.

ESRI also have a beta program offering a global mosaic of elevation datasets, some at 1m resolution. http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/What_are_the_World_Elevation_services/009t00000244000000/

share|improve this answer
1  
Yes, they are the only vendor providing a service like this that I have seen too; and they have a huge investment in the data and services that provides a great value; the cost can be high but the ROI is good. –  D.E.Wright Feb 7 '12 at 22:44
    
I read this in Forbes: Then Levine heard Microsoft was compiling a half-meter-resolution model of the entire country--by far the most ambitious surface map ever assembled. Levine visited the project's headquarters in Boulder, Colo., where three air-conditioned trailers filled with computers gnaw on 16 petabytes of data (1,600 times the size of the Library of Congress' printed collection). –  Bryce Feb 14 '12 at 6:56
    
That's on target... but is it really the only answer? –  Bryce Feb 14 '12 at 8:30
add comment

This Doesn't exist. I just wrote an article for LiDAR News about this very topic.

http://www.lidarnews.com/content/view/9031/136/

This is the closest thing that you will find that meets your request.

http://www.lidar-online.com/

Shoot me an email if you want to talk further, if you have funds, maybe we can work together to develop this into a service?

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.