State Releases Fodar Data of Coastal Villages

Today I found out that the State of Alaska officially released the first batch of data from our coastal work in southwest Alaska.  Included here are all of the villages that they were able to validate with their own ground control, 26 out of the 29 I delivered.  They found the same as we always have — that the horizontal alignment was perfect and the standard deviation of vertical misfit between my data and theirs was 5 cm, or about 2 inches.  I believe these are the best maps of any communities in Alaska based on any metric — accuracy, precision, resolution or cost — and though the State’s press release doesn’t go so far as to say that, their scientific report confirms our statistics and their recent additions to our contract confirm the price.  In any case, their report is available for download here and the data can now be downloaded here (note when downloading the data, you must click on the secret icon in the upper right that looks like a square trampoline and then draw a rectangle around the village you are after in the main window).  Or if you don’t want to wait an hour or two to download the data yourself  to view it in software you probably don’t have, you can fly around it now in 3D in full resolution in Fodar Earth.


From: DNR, Public Information Center Webmaster (DNR sponsored)
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 4:44 PM
Subject: DNR NEWS RELEASE-State posts aerial photos and elevation data for western
Alaska communities

[Press Release Header Marty]

May 12, 2016

State posts aerial photos and elevation data for western Alaska communities

(Fairbanks, AK) – To assist communities impacted by coastal change, the Division of
Geological & Geophysical Surveys is publishing new high-resolution digital aerial
photos and elevation data for 26 coastal communities in western Alaska. The new
images and data are available at

The west coast of Alaska lacks the critical baseline data necessary to conduct
coastal vulnerability mapping for community planning and emergency decision-making.
To facilitate mapping, DGGS in 2015 contracted the collection of high-resolution
aerial photos along 2,175 miles of coast from Wales to Kongiganak. The images were
orthorectified and used to produce high-resolution digital surface models of
elevations. The current data release includes the 26 communities within the region.
Continuous data covering the coastline between communities will be released at a
later date.

This is the first dataset of its kind to cover the Norton Sound and Yukon–Kuskokwim
Delta regions, and is a huge and sorely needed improvement over the previous sparse,
discontinuous, or outdated information. The data will serve as a regional baseline
to support coastal flood and shoreline mapping for projects such as FEMA flood
mapping, erosion monitoring, and nautical charting, and will give communities
up-to-date maps showing locations of critical buildings and roads for emergency
planning and future development.

For more information about DGGS, visit, where you can sign up
for RSS feed or email notification or follow DGGS on Twitter or Facebook.

CONTACTS:  Jacquelyn Overbeck, 907-451-5026,<>; Michael
Hendricks, 907‑451‑5029,<>
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