It is usually more meaningful to compare quotes from different providers for the same situation/contract. However, I tried to make a rough comparison with the work of Hummel et al. (2011).
30k CAD / (70 Km² x 247.105 acres/Km²) = $1.73 CAD/acre or $1.92 USD/acre.
(Considering a ratio of CAD/USD = 1.11 in Oct/2014).
- Hummel et al. (2011).
They report in Table 4, a cost for acquisition and processing of LiDAR data (6.31 points/m²), in Oregon/USA in 2007, equal to $2.62 USD/acre (in 32k acres).
Based on such comparison, it seems a reasonable price; it is a lower value than a cost in 2007 (had it brought to present value it would be greater), for a similar point cloud density. On the other hand, the deliverables are different, so as the terrain and land cover will also probably be.
About things to be considered in the hiring process, besides the points raised in
If you do not know - just GIS' answer (specifying classes and checking vertical/horizontal accuracies), the following ones are also worthy attention:
- make sure the contract states a timeline and deliverables (stated by Nick O).
I find Reutebuch et al. (2005) recommendation (in pages 290 and 291) very useful about which products should be delivered by providers; at least: (i) bare-earth elevation model, (ii) canopy height models (CHM), (iii) canopy cover maps, (iv) LiDAR intensity images, (v) all returns dataset. They also state:
At a minimum, this data set should include pulse number, return number, east coordinate, north coordinate, elevation, and return intensity for each LIDAR return and metadata documenting the LIDAR mission flight parameters, sensor type and settings, GPS control, horizontal and vertical datum, coordinate units and projection, and date and time of mission. Ideally, all return data files should be in the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing LIDAR data exchange format (.las).
get the raw LAS files (point clouds) from which the bare earth DEMs will be generated. Later on, it is possible to use alternative algorithms for processing the data, one can always go back to the point cloud. (stated by WhiteboxDev).
it is interesting to specify that 7 pts/m² is the minimum return density required in x% (e.g., 95%, 99%, 100%, etc) of the cover area. Otherwise, the return density average could be achieved, but with a standard deviation so large that the return density would not be satisfactory in some areas.
also, specify what happens if the contract agreements are not delivered (e.g., resurvey, get a discount, etc).
- Hummel, S., Hudak, A. T., Uebler, E. H., Falkowski, M. J., Megown, K. A. (2011). A Comparison of Accuracy and Cost of LiDAR versus Stand Exam Data for Landscape Management on the Malheur National Forest. Journal of Forestry, 109(August), 267–273.
- Reutebuch, S.E., Andersen, H.E., McGaughey, R.J. (2005). Light detection and ranging (LIDAR): an emerging tool for multiple resource inventory. Journal of Forestry, 103(6), 286–292.