OpenTopography services on Vermont 3DEP & Maui NOAA lidar now open to support recovery

Aug 12, 2023

In response to The Great Vermont Flood of 10-11 July 2023, and recent devastating wildfires on Maui, HI, OpenTopography is temporarily removing our academic user restriction on our value-added services applied to open USGS 3D Elevation Project (3DEP) and NOAA Coastal lidar datasets for the state of Vermont and the island of Maui. We hope that OpenTopography's easy to use interface for accessing, processing, and visualizing high resolution lidar datasets in these affected regions will help to support recovery and rebuilding, assessment of environmental impacts, and research.

Fifteen USGS 3DEP lidar datasets covering the state of Vermont and five NOAA Coastal lidar datasets covering the island of Maui are now publicly processable via OpenTopography. Creation of an OpenTopography account is encouraged but not required. To access these data visit the OpenTopography Find Data Map.

3D view of lidar point cloud data for a portion of Montpelier, VT. Confluence of the Winooski and North Branch Winooski Rivers in center of image; the Vermont State House is in the back-left.

3D view of lidar point cloud data for a portion of Lahaina, Maui, HI.

OpenTopography is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation to provide access to high-resolution topography data, and related tools and resources, primarily for use primarily in Earth science research and education. OpenTopography provides access to USGS 3DEP lidar data to our core academic community for free but use by non-academics is normally restricted due to funding limitations. We're removing this restriction temporarily in response to The Great Vermont Flood of 10-11 July 2023 to help with recovery efforts. To learn more about OpenTopography restrictions on access to 3DEP please see this page.


Lidar Basics: Learn about what lidar is, how lidar works, and how lidar is used

Access Data: Find lidar and other topographic datasets

Make a Digital Elevation Model: Watch this video to learn how to make a DEM and hillshade on OpenTopography with just a few mouse clicks.

Extract hydrological information: Watch this video to learn how to calculate flow paths on hydrologically conditioned DEMs on OpenTopography.

Interested in learning more about OpenTopography? Check out our Partner With Us page for an overview of OpenTopography services for the hosting, management, distribution, and processing of high resolution topography for academic, government, and commercial stakeholders. Get in touch with our team here.