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National Elevation (LiDAR) - Programme Update (September 2021)

The National Elevation programme is a joint LINZ/Council initiative which aims to provide a nationally consistent baseline elevation data set. In 2019, $19 million was made available for NZ wide LIDAR capture through a successful application to the Provincial Growth Fund. Once the initiative is complete, total LiDAR coverage will increase to approximately 80% of the country.

LiDAR coverage

Capture progress and the first data releases

Data capture has continued across most of the regions and while there have been some hiccups over the last year - including lockdowns and poor weather - the first blocks of data have been released to the public. This includes large areas of Marlborough, Gisborne, Bay of Plenty, and the West Coast. As a reminder, all data will be released under a Creative Commons 4.0 licence in the below formats:

  • 1.0m Digital Elevation Model (DEM)

  • 1.0m Digital Surface Model (DSM)

  • Classified Point Clouds (LAS format)

The DEM and DSM are available on the LINZ Data Service and the Point Clouds on the Open Topography website.

Classified Point Cloud – Mount Maunganui

Elevation Aotearoa – realising the benefits

It’s not enough just to capture the data, the real benefit to New Zealand is in people using it. In a study last year by economist Aaron Schiff, it was estimated that an extra $36 million per year can be added to the New Zealand economy if we improve access, awareness, and capability around LiDAR.

Elevation Aotearoa is a small first step to help in these areas. It is a web site which pulls together all the relevant information about the programme into one place. It includes programme updates, a live LiDAR availability & release schedule as well as case studies and how to guides to get started with LiDAR.

Check out the Elevation Aotearoa Story Map by clicking on the link below. The site is updated regularly so make sure you book mark the page to keep informed!

Elevation Aotearoa web site


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