Collaborative Research: Open Topography: A Cyberinfrastructure-Enabled Facility for High-Resolution Topographic Data and Tools

Project: Research project

Project Details


In just over two years, OpenTopography (OT) has established itself as the key source of free high--- resolution topography data and related tools. The access and analysis of lidar data enabled by OT has transformed several aspects of earth and environmental science and related education including the study of active fault zones in western North America and the character of major earthquakes along them, analysis of the Critical Zone, and detailed geomorphic investigation of hillslope and fluvial processes. The data are also being used in the commercial sector for engineering and planning applications. OT has proven to be an excellent example of a production---grade geoinformatics system serving a large and diverse scientific community. OT is a standout example of early investments in domain cyberinfrastructure (via the GEON Project) panning out to become a robust, production---level resource that researchers have come to depend upon, and that is also used for education. The cyberinfrastructure objectives of the original GEON LiDAR Workflow (GLW), the predecessor to OT, were to provide a workflow---based system for on---demand access to high---resolution, large volume LiDAR data and related processing services. OT now provides a robust, user---friendly web---based interface to that allows access to data and services to a wide and diverse community of users, thus increasing the impact of the data. As of now, we have finalized agreements (MoUs) with several LiDAR data providers, chief among them being the NSF National Center for Airborne Lidar Mapping (NCALM), as well as the Critical Zone Observatories (CZO), the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), the State of Indiana, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Association. We continue to work with data provider organizations on additional MoUs
Effective start/end date4/1/133/31/17


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $198,158.00


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