Kansas Statewide 2-m LiDAR

Published on March 14, 2018 by Jude Kastens

Tags: Elevation, Kansas, LiDAR, Remote sensing, Shaded Relief

LiDAR Shaded Relief (Konza Prairie)

LiDAR Shaded Relief (Konza Prairie)

In 2005-2006, the state of Kansas began development of its LiDAR bare-earth elevation dataset with a 2-m resolution coverage along the Kansas River corridor and several adjacent counties. Over the course of the next decade, piece-by-piece, statewide coverage was eventually achieved. Data specifications improved along the way, so that most of the bare-earth raster data (referred to as digital terrain models, or DTMs) are available at 1-m resolution and have been subjected to hydro-flattening, whereby the water surfaces of many waterbodies and large streams have been given a smooth representation to facilitate hydrologic and hydraulic processing. New collections are underway that will result in a complete statewide coverage of Quality Level 2 (QL2) LiDAR in the coming years.


The Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) has assembled a gapless, 2-m LiDAR DTM covering the entire state, which has been published as a web map service. From this dataset, a shaded relief map was created that is also available for public consumption and can be accessed here. KBS web map applications utilizing these services include Kansas Land Cover, Kansas Playas, and Kansas Lakes and Reservoirs, among others.


For a brief LiDAR overview along with a Kansas LiDAR coverage timeline, see Dr. Jude Kastens’ presentation from the 2017 Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas.


Most of the state’s LiDAR data are available for download from the Kansas Geological Survey’s Data Acquisition and Support Center. Additional products include LAS point files and first-return digital surface models (DSMs). For inquiries regarding the KBS LiDAR data holdings and research applications, contact Dr. Jude Kastens.