LiDAR and Google Maps

The OpenTopography Portal is reporting that it appears Google is making use of bare earth terrain models derived from LiDAR. They provide a couple of examples of where the high resolution LiDAR data has been patched into the terrain layer.

It is no wonder that ESRI is concerned about these guys. It’s hard to compete with free.

This entry was posted in Business Development, Marketing. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to LiDAR and Google Maps

  1. Chris Crosby says:

    Thanks for the link Gene. Google is simply incorporating publicly available lidar data into their map layers. The data from which the GMaps terrain layer are derived are publicly available and anyone (including ESRI) could access and use them in the same manner if they so desired. It is not just that the terrain layer in Google Maps is free, it is also better. For example, ESRI has a World Shaded Relief map service available through the ArcGIS Online Resource Center, at its highest resolution they are using the 30 m NED.

    • Meharaj says:

      I believe Google is using the World elevation suite from Digital globe and not LiDAR. Photosat ( has developed an innovative techinique for generating terrain data from satellite imagery. This technique that was used earlier in 3D geophysical siesmic studies has been deployed for automated generation of 3D data from satellite imageries. Photosat claims a 30 cm accuracy for their elevation data.

  2. how do I import Google Maps into LiDAR or LiDAR into Google Maps? I need to do a project which will give me decent contour lines, but cannot find anything like that in GoogleMaps Terrain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.