The USGS Lidar Base Specification Review and Approval Process
Considering the rapid advancement in lidar technologies, the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Geospatial Program (NGP, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) and the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) have adopted a new process for reviewing and approving changes and updates to the USGS Lidar Base Specifications (LBS). Central to the process is the Elevation Specification Review Board (ESRB) which includes USGS subject matter experts and representatives from NGTOC groups involved with lidar acquisition and 3DEP workflows. In the new process, proposed changes to the LBS are made by USGS partner agencies through the 3DEP Working Group. The proposed specification changes are reviewed by the ESRB. If approved by the ESRB, the changes are considered by the 3DEP Working Group for approval. Once approved, the updated specification(s) are made available on the USGS Specifications Explorer (Spec-X) website. This process ensures timely updates in response to rapid advancements in technology. An example of the workflow includes the consideration of an update to Bridge and Saddle requirements. Overall, this new process has reduced the time needed for updating the specification from multiple years to less than one year.