AGIC August 2022 Short Course

Arizona Geographic Information Council (AGIC): Intro to Lidar, Data Access, and Processing with OpenTopography

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 in Prescott, AZ

Instructors: Dr. Chelsea Scott and Dr. Emily Zawacki, Arizona State University

Course Description:

In this hands-on session, we will begin with an introduction to airborne lidar technology focusing on the basics of data acquisition, point clouds, point classification and filtering, and digital elevation model (DEM) generation and processing. We will then use OpenTopography ( for a series of hands-on activities where participants will follow along and explore datasets of interest. OpenTopography is a National Science Foundation-funded project that streamlines discovery, access, and processing of high resolution topography datasets. Many of our datasets are available as fully open and thus can be accessed by anyone without restrictions. Participants will use OpenTopography to process and examine different attributes of point clouds, construct raster DEMs, and perform topographic differencing on multi-temporal datasets to examine landscape change.


Data Downloads

TauDEM Activity: San Gabriel Mountains TauDEM Products

Example Jobs

(3DEP jobs will only be available to view during the course today. All other jobs can be re-processed)

Camelback Mountain, Phoenix:

Kaibab Plateau, AZ:

Thumb Butte, Prescott:

Indiana Speedway:

San Luis Obispo County:

New York City:

Otago, New Zealand:

Christchurch, New Zealand:

Topographic Differencing

Kumamoto Earthquake:

White Sands National Monument:

Wellington, New Zealand: