OT Blog

Information and discussion related to high-resolution lidar topography for the Earth sciences

OpenTopography 2022 Community Survey Review

OpenTopography conducted a survey of its user community to gain feedback on existing services, prioritize new development and to enhance existing services, and track evolving community needs. The survey was developed by the OpenTopography Advisory Committee, and was distributed to OpenTopography users via our email newsletter. A total of 523 users responded to the survey. The results of the survey are summarized as follows.

Of the respondents, approximately 40% work in academia, 34% work in the private sector or industry, and 13% work in government.

New Raster Visualization Tools in OpenTopography

We recently released a completely new version of OpenTopography's raster (i.e., digital elevation models (DEM)) visualization service. Raster visualization was one of the oldest processing services in OpenTopography, and it's very valuable for quickly and easily getting an overview of the requested topographic data. We're happy to announce that the new version was rewritten to improve performance and expand the number of derivative products and visualizations that are available.

Highlight: January-May 2022 publications using OpenTopography hosted datasets

By Emily Zawacki

OpenTopography is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation to facilitate access to topographic data for Earth and other scientific research and education. We closely track peer-reviewed publications that utilize OpenTopography data and services as they are an important measure of our impact. To better highlight new results that demonstrate the use and reuse of OpenTopography data and processing, we will periodically be featuring new results in a blog post.

iPhone lidar with applications for the geosciences

By Emily Zawacki

Lidar (light detection and ranging) is a common remote sensing technique used to create high-resolution three-dimensional models of landscapes and built features. Lidar uses laser pulses to measure distances to the ground or other features. Traditionally, lidar scanners are mounted to airborne or terrestrial platforms, but we now have the power of lidar in our own hands.

OpenTopography: 2021 Year in Review

OpenTopography continued to experience strong growth in 2021 with increases in usage (jobs) as well as number of users. At the end of 2021, we have had over 158,047 unique users running 626,973 processing jobs via the portal and over 284,559 unique API users/IPs invoking in excess of 2,578,334 API jobs. We saw double the growth in the number of API calls from an already exponential growth in 2021. We continued to add more topography datasets as well as increased federated access to the number of USGS 3DEP datasets hosted on the cloud.