What we are
Contracting Through the PSLC
A selective history of LIDAR in the Puget Sound region
Status of public LIDAR surveys in western Washington
The Puget Sound LIDAR Consortium (PSLC) is an informal group of local agency staff and Federal research scientists devoted to developing public-domain high-resolution LIDAR topography and derivative products for the Puget Sound region. We came together in the fall of 1999, with initial participants from Kitsap County, Kitsap PUD, City of Seattle, Puget Sound Regional Council, NASA, and the USGS. We have since been joined by Clallam and Island counties. Although we have no rules or formal membership, we are able to work in concert. Our point of contact is Andrew Norton at the Puget Sound Regional Council.
In a legal sense, the PSLC is no more than a set of inter-agency purchase agreements that allow purchase of LIDAR surveying via a contract negotiated by Kitsap County.
The PSLC coalesced around the issue of earthquake hazards. While each jurisdiction has different reasons for funding LIDAR data acquisition, the Seattle fault affects all the original partners. The fault trends east-west across the Puget Lowland from Kitsap County through downtown Seattle to central King County. Ignorance of the history of the fault--how often it ruptures--currently contributes the most uncertainty to estimates of the earthquake hazard to the central Puget Sound region.The most direct route to reducing this uncertainty is to locate surface breaks that can be trenched for deposits that date fault activity. This focus and the ability of the USGS to work across local jurisdiction boundaries were key to building the PSLC.
We think our sucess (presuming we do succeed) largely stems from being a bunch of nice people. We also embody significant experience and skills pertinent to the task of obtaining public-domain LIDAR topography. Berghoff contracted for the Bainbridge LIDAR survey in 1996. Conradi was the surveyor for the firm that performed the Bainbridge Survey. Harding has been engaged in LIDAR research at NASA for several years, and has provided invaluable experience in contracting for LIDAR surveys. Berghoff, Conradi, and Harless are GIS (geographic information system) managers. Anderson and Haugerud are skilled GIS technicians. Mann is a marvel at public administration and contract management. Johnson's grant-writing skill and focus on the grant-funding ball are much appreciated. Weaver has much experience at nurturing coalitions to support public-service research. Haugerud, Johnson, and Harding bring geologic expertise that encourages close focus on topography. All of us are very aware of the multiple uses of these data and share a vision of regional coverage.Our funding is from various sources. In 1999 the USGS received a 3-year, $300,000 NASA grant to acquire remote-sensing data for hazard mitigation. In 2000, 2001, and 2002 Kitsap County received USGS grants for LIDAR surveys. The City of Seattle, Puget Sound Regional Council, and Clallam and Island counties have contributed local funds. The salaries and expenses of PSLC participants have not been directly funded.
Contracting Through the PSLC
The PSLC has been acquiring lidar data for over a decade in the Pacific Northwest and therefore we are confident in providing contract administration and quality control of the data. We have developed a set of technical specifications geared to achieve the best terrain models given our topography, vegetation and weather patterns. Our current vendor is Watershed Sciences Inc. The contract went through a competitive bid process during the spring of 2012. We carefully reviewed multiple proposals and then selected the top candidate. All data acquired through the PSLC is placed in the public domain through this website.
Andrew Norton for more information.
|1996||Kitsap Public Utility District contracts for a LIDAR survey of Bainbridge Island, a rapidly-developing suburb of Seattle that is entirely dependent on local ground water.|
|Dec. 1996||Airborne Laser Mapping, now defunct, surveys Bainbridge Island. Most work carried out after an unusual low-elevation snowfall removes last leaves from deciduous trees and flattens much of the underbrush. See paper by Harding and Berghoff for discussion of this survey.|
|late 1997||Greg Berghoff gives an image from the Bainbridge survey to Bob Bucknam (USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, Golden CO), who had been studying the 1,100-year-old uplifted beach on southern Bainbridge Island as evidence of recent activity on the Seattle fault.|
|Aug. 1998||With permission of the landowner, USGS Earthquake Hazards Program digs two backhoe trenches across the Toe Jam Hill scarp and confirms that the scarp was formed by Holocene (last 15,000 years) faulting.|
|Sept. 1998||Weaver and Haugerud show City of Seattle staff the Bainbridge Island LIDAR topography. City indicates desire to obtain similar data.|
|Fall 1998||Weaver and UW Earth Sciences staff meet with Kitsap County elected officials. County indicates strong interest in LIDAR surveys|
flies LIDAR survey of Snoqualmie
valley for USGS National Mapping Division (NMD).
Funding is in part from USGS Urban Hazards
Initiative. Malfunction of inertial navigation unit
renders about half of data worthless.
Haugerud suggests to USGS-NMD that it utilize future Urban Hazards funding ($200K/yr) for LIDAR surveys in Puget Lowland. Suggestion not taken.
Haugerud approaches USGS Associate Chief Geologist for Science about LIDAR surveys.
|Feb. 1999||USGS hosts small workshop of local jurisdictions along
Seattle fault to discuss LIDAR data collection strategies. A
short white paper is written with possible options for
funding public-domain LIDAR.
Johnson, Harding, Weaver, and Wells submit proposal to NASA seeking funding to acquire LIDAR data for earthquake hazards investigations in the Puget Sound region.
|April 1999||Kitsap County officials and USGS staff have separate meetings with Representative Norm Dicks. LIDAR needs are discussed and the idea of a pilot is suggested.|
|July 1999||Representatives from USGS, City of Seatlle, Kitsap County, PSRC, and Kitsap PUD meet with local congressional staffer to develop LIDAR pilot.|
Hazards Program digs three more trenches across Toe Jam
NASA joins regional LIDAR discussions.
|Sept. 1999||Eaglescan reflies bad part of Snoqualmie valley survey during late summer, at request of USGS researchers who are interested in low-water exposures of Snoqualmie River channel. Survey images tops of cornfields.|
|Oct. 1999||Puget Sound LIDAR Consortium coalesces, with agreement to survey to common standards and share data.|
|Nov. 1999||PSLC sends request for information to LIDAR contractors.|
|Dec. 1999||NASA grant awarded to Johnson and others.|
|Jan. 2000||PSLC issues Request for Proposals for data collection in early 2000|
|Feb. 2000||PSLC signs contract with TerraPoint, LLC. First round of surveying (almost all of Kitsap Peninsula, most of Seattle) finished by early April.|
|July 2000||Aiju Ding, senior GIS analyst at TerraPoint, identifies east-west scarp near Waterman
Point that may--or may not--indicate Holocene
Haugerud devises improved Virtual Deforestation (VDF) algorithm that is adopted by TerraPoint.
|Sept. 2000||Harding identifies systematic errors during early 2000 TerraPoint survey flights.|
|Oct. 2000||TerraPoint confirms that pulse detector malfunctioned during many of the early 2000 survey flights. TerraPoint makes plans to resurvey.|
|Feb. 2001||TerraPoint completes 2000 survey area (Kitsap Peninsula,
Seattle, and east along I-90) and 2001 survey area: Whidbey
Island, Camano Island, NE Jefferson County, and parts of
lowland Clallam County.
Haugerud submits surface map of Bainbridge Island, a geomorphic map based on Bainbridge LIDAR survey, for internal USGS review.
|March 2001||Several local groups request $3M for LIDAR surveys as part
of response to 28
2001 Nisqually earthquake. Request comes to naught.
PSLC plans data acquisition for winter 2001-2002.
|April 2001||Tenix LADS Corp. acquires test patches of lidar near-shore bathymetry for PSLC. Areas surveyed are along Possession Sound, from Randall Point to Possession Point (Island County) and south of Mukilteo (Snohomish County.)|
|June 2001||PSLC meets to review first bare-earth DEMs from data collected in early 2001.|
|Aug. 2001||Trenching by USGS Earthquake Hazards program confirms that
Waterman Point scarp is tectonic: a south-verging thrust,
with bedrock overriding Holocene(?) soil.
TerraPoint delivers topography for Kitsap Peninsula, which appears to be in good shape except for one flight line. Haugerud identifies NE-trending Salmon Beach scarp south of Belfair. Again, it may--or may not--indicate Holocene faulting.
|Dec. 2001||TerraPoint ships bare-earth models for parts of Clallam,
Jefferson, Island counties. Island and Jefferson county data
have insufficient sidelap between flight lines and
TerraPoint makes plans to resurvey.
From provisional bare-earth topography, Johnson and Haugerud identify three scarps of possible tectonic origin.
|Jan. 2002||Johnson, Harding, Haugerud, and others submit proposal to NASA to collect lidar data from selected high-relief areas in Cascade Mountains.|
|Feb. 2002||At the request of US Navy staff, PSLC disables Web access
to lidar topography because of national-security concerns.
With further discussion, it becomes clear that for these
particular concerns PSLC lidar topography is not
significantly more useful than other geospatial data that
are widely available on the Web. PSLC agrees to institute
guestbook to track downloads of geo-registered data.
||TerraPoint delivers first shipment of all
LiDAR products for the winter 2001-2002 mission. The
rest of the shipments for this mission continued through
November 2002. This mission included Vashon Island,
Thurston County, the lowland in Mason County, the peninsula
area of Pierce County, the rest of the lowland in eastern
Jefferson County, the Chehalis River in Grays Harbor County
and the Dungeness River in Clallam County. This data
met contract specifications and was accepted.
||TerraPoint delivers the reflown data for
parts of Clallam, Jefferson, Island counties. The
data met contract specifications and was accepted.
||TerraPoint delivers data for the high-relief
area West of Mt. Rainier.
||TerraPoint delivers all data products for the
winter 2002-2003 mission. This mission includes the
northwest corner of Snohomish County and parts of Yakima and
Lewis counties. This data met contract specifications
and was accepted.
||PRISM contributes their web development
expertice to activate a guestbook to track downloads of
LiDAR geo-registered data. The PSLC website is
activated for data download once again.
|TerraPoint delivers data products for Porland Oregon mission. This data met contract specifications and was accepted.|
|TerraPoint delivers data
products for the Pierce County Lowlands mission. Data
was delivered in stages through November. This data
met contract specifications and was accepted.
||Data is delivered in small
section for all of the 2005 projects in the North Puget
Sound, Olympic Peninsula, Lewis County.
|Data is delivered for the
Lower Columbia River.
||The PSLC sign a new contract
with Watershed Sciences, LiDAR vendor.
|Watershed Sciences delivers
the first data acquired under the new cotract. The
data is for Lewis County. After this many subsequent
datasets were delivered. The data meets PSLC specs.
||A consortium is formed in
Northwest Oregon\Portland Metro area to jointly collect and
share over 1500 square miles of LiDAR data. This
project is going throught the PSLC. At the same time
more data is collected in serveral river corridors in
Eastern Washignton and Oregon.
To view the status of public domain data available through the PSLC log into out website and go to PSLC Data. To view datasets acquired by other agencies and made available through the PSLC also log in and go to Data from Other Agencies.
Request for Proposals January 2000, PDF file
Exhibit A, Scope of Work January 2000, PDF file
Addendum to Request for Proposals January 27, 2000, PDF file
The little red icon at the top of your browser is provisional and may be replaced. It shows all of Washington because it looks better than Puget Sound. Red implies LiDAR, even though LiDAR mapping is actually done in the near infrared.