# Seeking commercial web service for LIDAR/DSM data in USA

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:

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

-
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

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/

-
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