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GCN : September 2014
Still, while IFSAR can penetrate cloud cov- er, it's not as accurate as Lidar. EARLY 3DEP MOVERS North Carolina has also been an early partner in 3DEP. In fact, according to John Dorman, director of North Carolina's Geospatial and Technology Management Office, the state started collecting its own Lidar data as early as 2000, primarily for flood hazard mapping, transportation roadway corridor preliminary design and streambed mapping. "Around 2008 we started looking at the elevation data we had and told ourselves we would keep our eyes out for opportuni- ties to update the data because the tech- nology was improving so much we were able to collect a lot more accurate points for a lesser cost," said Dorman, adding that 3DEP is that opportunity. Thanks to sharing costs and coordinat- ing with 3DEP, Dorman says that North Carolina has already collected enhanced elevation data for 40 counties, represent- ing about half the state. And cost sharing for gathering the ele- vation data isn't the only benefit for states from the 3DEP program. "We recognized early on the benefit of having a data set that has a single specification and com- pliance standards that everybody could use," Gallagher said. "USGS provides leadership in terms of standards setting, organization and contracting." So far, however, even with existing partnerships, the 3DEP effort is coming up short on funds. To reach the goal of mapping their entire country in eight years, Gallagher said, would require $150 million a year. "Our goal was that of the federal agen- cies could put together about $100 mil- lion, and we would expect states to con- tribute another $50 million," he said. "We are not at those numbers yet. Last year, as a nation, we spent about $50 mil- lion total on enhanced elevation data." As a result, by mid-2014, enhanced el- evation data has been collected for only 4 percent of the country. Having developed the standards for data collection and having refined the processes of partnering with other gov- ernment entities, USGS is now looking to expand those partnerships. Accordingly, this summer, the agency issued an agency announcement inviting additional federal agencies, state and lo- cal government, tribes, academic insti- tutions and the private sector to submit proposals. "What we're trying to do with the BAA is reach a broader audience," Gal- lagher said. Gallagher added that as the amount of enhanced elevation data grows, he an- ticipates a boom in applications. "Once the data is acquired, I expect a whole industry to evolve out of this," he said. "Decision support tools, visualization tools, precision agriculture, vehicle navigation --- it goes on and on and on." • ONLINE REPORT SPONSORED BY: Next-Generation Data Centers Special Report AGENCIES SEEK BIGGER BOOSTS IN EFFICIENCY, PERFORMANCE NEXT-GEN DATA CENTER DESIGNS: CUSTOM OR GENERIC? AGENCIES LOOK TO A SOFTWARE- DEFINED FUTURE FUTURE DATA CENTERS WILL ALSO NEED A STORAGE RETHINK THE MODULAR DATA CENTER GETS SOME TRACTION TO LEARN MORE, VISIT: GCN.COM/CDWGNEXTGENDATACENTER TOPICS INCLUDE: AGENCIES FIND NEW OPTIONS FOR FLEXIBILITY, EFFICIENCY AND POWER IN DATA CENTER OPERATIONS GCN SEPTEMBER 2014 • GCN.COM 25