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In April 2020, WLASS entered into an agreement with iXblue Pty Ltd to complete a LiDAR (Light detection and Ranging) survey throughout the Waikato region.
The latest LiDAR technology is being used to collect earth surface data to create highly detailed 3D maps and models of the landscape.
Flying to gather the data commenced in December 2020 and is expected to be finished by May 2021. After intensive quality control, it is expected that the processed data set will be freely available to the public in 2022.
Waikato Local Authority Shared Services (WLASS), on behalf of the 10 councils, has secured funding of $1.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) and approximately $133,000 third party funding for the region. WLASS will be running the project which is part of a national LiDAR programme coordinated by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).
The councils involved in the initiative are Waikato Regional Council and Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Ōtorohanga, South Waikato, Taupō, Thames-Coromandel, Waikato, Waipā and Waitomo district councils.
Hamilton City Council has already recently acquired LiDAR data for the city. This will be joined with the new data to provide a contiguous regional data set of over 25,000km2.
WLASS Chief Executive Kelvin French says it is fantastic the councils have contributed funding to support the project. He is also grateful for the contributions from the following organisations who are co-funding the initiative: WEL Networks, Environmental Research Institute, EQC – Earthquake Commission, Waikato River Clean Up Trust, Lincoln Agritech and Mercury NZ Ltd.
LiDAR provides precise laser measurements of the earth’s surface with the data used to create highly accurate 3D maps of the land.
The data enables better management of natural hazards, such as flooding, erosion and sea level rise. It provides farm-scale land information to benefit the agriculture and forestry sectors as well as being used for many other planning purposes. It is also widely used for development, engineering, architecture and design applications by the private sector.
More information about the LINZ national elevation programme, including the PGF LiDAR project and access to the data, can be found at https://www.linz.govt.nz/data/linz-data/elevation-data.”