OpenTopography Facility

The NSF-funded OpenTopography facility provides online access to Earth science-oriented high-resolution LIDAR topography data, online processing tools, and derivative products. The underlying cyberinfrastructure that powers the OpenTopography site was originally developed as part of the National Science Foundation Information and Technology Research program-funded Geoscience Network (GEON) project.

OpenTopography aims to democratize online access to high-resolution (meter to sub-meter scale), Earth science-oriented, topography data acquired with LiDAR and related technologies by harness cutting edge cyberinfrastructure that are scalable, extensible, and innovative. It also aims to promote the discovery of data and software tools through community populated metadata catalogs and partner with public domain data holders to leverage OpenTopography infrastructure for data discovery, hosting and processing.

A collaboration with NASA, UNAVCO, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), aims to extend OpenTopography to include satellite waveform LiDAR data focusing on the polar regions. OpenTopography also currently serves elevation data on a near-global scale obtained by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), a project spearheaded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Principal Investigators: 

PI: Chaitan Baru, University of California San Diego
Co-PI: Viswanath Nandigam, University of California San Diego
Co-PI: Christopher Crosby, UNAVCO

Collaborators: 

Prof. Ramon Arrowsmith, ASU
Dr. Charles Meertens, UNAVCO

Funding Source: 

Earth Sciences Facilities Program, National Science Foundation
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Past)