EarthData Renews Focus on California Market with $1 Million Contract for Lidar Mapping

Frederick, MD (February 7, 2007) – EarthData’s push to increase its presence in California gained hold this week, having signed a $1 million contract with URS Corporation for aerial lidar surveys over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Covering 1,600 square miles, the project calls for 1-meter post-spacing lidar data, hydrographic breaklines, and 1’ contours. California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) will use these datasets to evaluate levee stability under various flooding scenarios as part of its Delta Risk Management Strategy.

“The aging levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have a hefty responsibility,” said URS project manager, Syd Bowcott. “Not only do they ensure water supply and water quality for the state, the levees safeguard 700,000 acres of land and millions of residents from the threat of flooding.” Key infrastructure like highways, railways, and pipelines also depend on levee stability. The detailed lidar elevation data from this project will help DWR identify areas where levees need repair, as well as areas requiring additional levee structures to protect recent urban developments.

“We realize the importance of this project in identifying and addressing pressing urban and environmental issues surrounding the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta,” said EarthData CEO Anne Hale Miglarese. “It is a privilege to serve URS and the state in this capacity, helping to build resilient communities while protecting a highly valued natural resource.” In addition to the levee studies, the lidar surveys will benefit Suisun Marsh restoration efforts, another important water management project for the state.

Aerial data acquisition for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta project now is underway. Final datasets will be delivered to URS for independent evaluation by August 1, 2007. Other team members on the project include Airborne 1 Corporation and Towill, Inc.

Miglarese noted the strategic impact of the project to EarthData’s business development goals. “This is a state whose geospatial needs are many and varied. Though we’ve performed numerous projects here in the past—including our first commercial GeoSAR radar mapping project—we look forward to increasing our presence here this year.” EarthData’s marketing efforts will include floodplain, transportation, and engineering projects with public- and private-sector customers.

About EarthData International:

EarthData provides a full range of mapping and GIS services to support customers’ needs in a wide variety of natural resource management, urban planning, economic development, national defense, and engineering activities. With its fleet of aircraft, the organization collects aerial photography, uses airborne laser (lidar) and imaging radar (GeoSAR) systems to produce 3D terrain models, and develops or deploys other remote sensing technologies to detect thermal and multispectral information about the earth’s surface. EarthData offices in the United States and China use this data to create and supply photogrammetric, lidar, radar, and digital orthophoto mapping and GIS applications and services, world-wide. (

Louis Demargne
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