Water Resources Center

The Water Resources Center is affiliated with the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and University of Minnesota Extension.

LiDAR Training Materials

Workshop Materials


Webinars

These training resources were developed as part of the "Conservation Applications of LiDAR" project -a series of hands-on workshops designed to help Minnesota GIS specialists effectively use LiDAR-derived data to address natural resource issues.


Ex. 1, Part 1: Displaying DEMs to Show Hydrologic Features Ex. 1, Part 2: Displaying DEMs to Show Hydrologic Features: TPI Ex. 2, Part 1: Hydrologic Conditioning of DEMs: Overview Ex. 2, Part 2: Hydrologic Conditioning of DEMs: Step-by-step instructions
Basics of Using LiDAR Data
Lecture slides (download) Basics of Using LiDAR Entire Lecture (4MB pdf)
Lecture slides (online viewer) Basics Lecture 1: Raster Data and DEMs
Basics Lecture 2: About LiDAR Data, Error and Accuracy
Basics Lecture 3: Applications of LiDAR Data, Software
Basics Lecture 4: Representations of LiDAR Data, MN Data Delivery
Basics Lecture 5: Examples of Visualizations of LiDAR Data
 
Lecture videos Basics Lecture 1: Raster Data and DEMs
Basics Lecture 2: About LiDAR Data, Error and Accuracy
Basics Lecture 3: Applications of LiDAR Data, Software
Basics Lecture 4: Representations of LiDAR Data, MN Data Delivery
Basics Lecture 5: Examples of Visualizations of LiDAR Data
Resources LiDAR file formats and data types
Exercises Exercise 1: Accessing Minnesota LiDAR Data (1MB pdf)
Exercise 2: Raster Processing (.5 MB pdf)
Exercise 3: Data Visualization and Management (1 MB pdf)
Exercise 4: Converting LiDAR Data to County Coordinates (0.5MB pdf)
E
xercise 5: Re-projecting LAS Data to County Coordinate Systems
Exercise videos Exercise 1: Accessing Minnesota LiDAR Data
Exercise 2: Raster Processing
Exercise 3: Visualization and Management of LiDAR Data
Exercise 4: Converting LiDAR Data to County Coordinates
Terrain Analysis
Lecture slides Terrain Analysis (2MB pdf)
Lecture videos Terrain Analysis Lecture 1a: Overview
Terrain Analysis Lecture 1b: Overview
T
errain Analysis Lecture 2: The Process
Exercises DEM Pre-processing, Calculating Terrain Attributes, Interpreting Terrain Attributes (1MB pdf)
Exercise videos Terrain Analysis Exercise 1: Calculating Terrain Attributes 
Terrain Analysis Exercise 2: Interpreting Terrain Attributes
Additional Terrain Analysis video demonstrations  (including how to use SPI and CTI to identify conservation priority areas)
Hydrologic Applications
Lecture Slides Hydrologic Applications (5MB pdf)
Lecture videos Hydrologic Applications, Lecture 1: Intro
Hydrologic Applications, Lecture 2: Displaying data
Hydrologic Applications, Lecture 3: TPI
Hydrologic Applications, Lecture 4: Digital dams
Exercises DEM Display (2MB pdf)
DEM Hydrologic Conditioning (1MB pdf)
Field-Scale Watershed Analysis (3 MB pdf)
Exercise data Exercise data: This link takes you to an ftp folder with several subfolders. The *.zip file contains all the other folders and files. For downloading the large data files, we recommend using an ftp client, instead of your browser.
Exercise videos
Ex. 1, Part 1: Displaying DEMs to Show Hydrologic Features
Ex. 1, Part 2: Displaying DEMs to Show Hydrologic Features: TPI
Ex. 2, Part 1: Hydrologic Conditioning of DEMs: Overview
Ex. 2, Part 2: Hydrologic Conditioning of DEMs: Step-by-step instructions
Field-Scale Watershed Analysis, Part 1a (Steps 1-5)
Field-Scale Watershed Analysis, Part 1b (Steps 5-6)
Field-Scale Watershed Analysis, Part 2a (Steps 1-3)
Field-Scale Watershed Analysis, Part 2b (Steps 4-6)
Field-Scale Watershed Analysis, Part 2c (Steps 7-9)
Arc-GIS add-on Instructions for installing TPI toolbar for ArcGIS (1MB pdf)
Engineering Applications
Exercises Engineering Applications exercises (5 MB pdf)
Exercise data Exercise data: This link takes you to an ftp folder with several subfolders. The *.zip file contains all the other folders and files. For downloading the large data files, we recommend using an ftp client, instead of your browser.
Exercise videos Exercise 1: Using DEM Data in Design - Part 1a (steps 1-6)
Exercise 1: Using DEM Data in Design - Part 1b (steps 6-7)
Exercise 1: Using DEM Data in Design - Part 2a (step 8)
Exercise 1: Using DEM Data in Design - Part 2b (steps 9-11)
Exercise 1: Using DEM Data in Design - Part 2c (steps 12-end)
Exercise 2: Using Shape File Data to Build a Surface - Method 1
Exercise 2: Using Shape File Data to Build a Surface - Method 2
Exercise 3: Working with a Geodatabase to Build a Surface - Part 1
Exercise 3: Working with a Geodatabase to Build a Surface - Part 2
Forestry Applications
   
Lecture handout Forestry Applications of LiDAR (2.5MB pdf)
Resources Forestry and LAS information The Instructor's list of apps, articles and more
Exercises Forestry Exercises (3.5MB pdf)
Exercise data Exercise data and other workshop files This link takes you to an ftp folder with several subfolders. For downloading the large data files, we recommend using an ftp client, instead of your browser.
Exercise video  
Wetland Mapping
Lecture slides (download) Wetland Mapping (1MB pdf)
Lecture slides (online viewer) Wetland Mapping
Exercises Exercise 1: Create the NDVI Layer (2MB pdf)
Exercise 2: Create the CTI Layer (2MB pdf)
Exercise 3: Classification of the Wetlands (2MB pdf)
Exercise data Exercise data and other workshop files This link takes you to an ftp folder with several subfolders. For downloading the large data files, we recommend using an ftp client, instead of your browser.

Webinars


Forestry Applications of LiDAR Data

NRCS Hydrology and Terrain Analysis Tools for Using LiDAR Data 

Using LiDAR-based Terrain Analysis Products

Using LiDAR Data to Advance Local Conservation Work

Forestry Applications of LiDAR


A one hour overview hosted by the Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative and presented by Paul Bolstad (University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources) on January 17, 2012.

View recording here>>

NRCS Hydrology and Terrain Analysis Tools for Using LiDAR Data

A set of tools were developed for experienced ArcGIS users of LiDAR data to aid in hydrologic and terrain analyses, and for the design of water and sediment control basins.

Webinar 1: An introduction to all the tools, presented by Peter Mead (formerly USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) on February 6, 2013.

View recording here >> https://umconnect.umn.edu/p86366488 
Table of contents and time points in the recording.

Webinar 2: Using the tools for the design of water and sediment control basins, presented by Peter Mead and Wes Drake (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) on March 19, 2013.

View introductory PowerPoint lecture here >> http://youtu.be/LNHjPq4qMaM

Recording of ArcGIS demo is coming

Download the tools

The tools are available here>>

Who are the tools for?

The tools’ author and webinar presenter

Peter Mead (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Red River Basin Initiative) is the primary author of the tools. Peter specializes in developing and applying automated approaches to watershed assessment and terrain analysis for conservation planners, hydrologists, engineers, and other GIS users.
 

What are the tools? 

The set of python-based ArcGIS tools available for hydrologic and topographic analyses of LiDAR data.  The tools are written for ArcGIS 9.3 and 10.x using Spatial and 3D Analyst extensions for the following tasks:

  • Conditioning LiDAR-derived DEMs to include culverts, and (optionally) walls and breachlines
  • Examining topographic suitability for water-retention and flood damage reduction projects
  • Evaluating DEMs and additional terrain attributes for water quality and water quantity applications
  • Delineating watersheds and deriving hydrologic attributes for conservation planning
  • Plan and design water and sediment control basins
The tools included in the package are:
  • Contour Generation at Various Intervals
  • Deriving Topographic Position Indices
  • LiDAR Based Relief Maps
  • Hydro Conditioning of DEMs
  • Stream Network Definition
  • Watershed Delineation
  • Catchment Delineation
  • Calculating flow path(s) length
  • Runoff Curve Number Calculation
  • Depression/Sink Analysis
  • Stream Power Index Calculation
  • Compound Topographic (Wetness) Index Calculation
  • Elevation and Projection Conversions
  • Cross Section/Profile Creation

Further updates and user support

For the latest information and versions, go to: http://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/chouse/elevation/lidar.html 

For questions about using the tools To receive notice of updates about these tools, subscribe at the LiDAR forum as follows:
  1. Go to http://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/cgi-bin/LiDAR/forum_show.pl
  2. Click on "Register" and register with the forum.
  3. Log in to the foruma
  4. Go to the topic "NRCS LIDAR Tools Available"
  5. Click on "subscribe" beneath the message. This means you will get an email notification whenever someone adds a reply to this topic. (If you would like to receive notifications of all posts to the forum, click on options > Boards > Email Subscription.)

Using LiDAR-based Terrain Analysis Products

A series of presentations by Stephanie Johnson and Zach Herrmann (Houston Engineering, Inc.)

In the following videos, learn:

  • The basics of what is a hydrologically reconditioned DEM (hydro DEM), why it is important, and what are important considerations for planning hydrologic conditioning
  • What are some uses of hydro DEMs.
  • How hydro DEMs can be used for terrain analysis (SPI and RUSLE) to prioritize nonpoint source management areas
  • How hydro DEMs can be used to plan large scale retention sites, and to prioritize restorable wetlands
Hydrologic Reconditioning of DEMs: Part 1 (11:25 min.)
Hydrologic Reconditioning of DEMs: Part 2 (10:03 min.)
Hydrologic Reconditioning of DEMs: Part 3 (12:33 min.)
Using Hydro DEMs for Terrain Analysis (14:49 min.)
Using Hydro DEMs for Detention Planning: Example 1 (9:09 min.)
Using Hydro DEMs for Detention Planning: Example 2 (4:42 min.)

The Q&A session after the webinar May 22, 2013 is posted on the LiDAR Forum 

Speaker Bios:
Zach Herrmann, P.E. is a licensed professional civil engineer, and has experience with a wide variety of watershed management issues. He has worked on multiple GIS-intensive projects including hydrologic conditioning and terrain analysis. He has applied LiDAR analysis techniques to improve overall workflow in many scenarios including hydrologic model development, floodplain management issues, and water quality stressor identification.
 

Using LiDAR Data to Advance Local Conservation Work

An Overview for Managing Administrators and Non-Technical Staff
View webinar recording:https://umconnect.umn.edu/p41977669/
(Originally presented June 12, 2013)
Time points:
2:14 = What is LiDAR?
16:05 = Examples of applications
33:55 = Data accuracy and other limitations and features
41:30 = Software and hardware requirements
45:20 = Q&A

Overview:
Minnesota’s newly completed statewide LiDAR elevation data is profoundly changing how districts, counties and other local organizations do conservation work and other development projects. At this webinar, learn ways that the data can substantially improve work effectiveness and efficiency. Learn its limitations, and find out what hardware, software and training is needed to take advantage of this essential resource. The presentation is targeted at managing administrators and other staff who will not necessarily work directly with the data.

Presenter: Tim Loesch (GIS Manager with MN.IT Services at DNR) has been working with LiDAR-based elevation data since 2006. He oversees the State LiDAR Mapping project to collect, process, and deliver the statewide dataset. In his current position Tim leads a team that provides data, custom software, training and assistance to over 2,000 DNR staff. Tim received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Bemidji State and a Master’s degree from University of Oklahoma.