Dear OpenTopography community,
Thank you for sharing our enthusiasm for high resolution topography! We hope that you are finding OpenTopography useful. As you know, the goal of OT is to be a portal to high-resolution topography data and related tools. Over the past two years we have quadrupled the amount of data we host, and are adding new data weekly. We've also established memoranda of understanding for data distribution with the NSF National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, the NSF Critical Zone Observatories, the Tahoe Regional Planning Authority, and several other groups. We are also engaged in numerous formal and informal strategic partnerships that have resulted in new datasets and tools being available through OT. On the outreach and training front, we have lead a number of airborne and terrestrial LiDAR workshops, built a strong social media presence, established the OpenTopography Tool Registry, and provided advice on many lidar and geoinformatics projects. In the process, OT has grown to a community of over 1500 registered users plus countless users who access data and resources as a guest. If you have not been to the OT site for a while, we encourage you to check it out!
We are proud of these achievements and the science, engineering, planning, and education they have enabled. We are also excited for the future of OpenTopography. OpenTopography is funded jointly by the Instrumentation and Facilities program of the Earth Science Division, the Office of Cyberinfrastructure, and the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation. In January 2012 we have to submit a renewal proposal to continue OpenTopography operations after September 2012. We need your help to make sure that our NSF colleagues and reviewers really appreciate the impact OT has had, and that they understand the need to provide strong sustained funding for online access to Earth science lidar data. Recall that your acknowledgment of OpenTopography support also provides a measure of OpenTopography's success and will help to ensure continued funding.
As we prepare our proposal, we would like to gather some information from you--our user community. Please take the OpenTopography User Survey by January 1st so that we can incorporate responses into our renewal proposal to the NSF.
-The OpenTopography Team