LiDAR-Based Conservation Planning Tools

Agren is an Iowa-based, family owned software start-up that has a unique business model based on LiDAR data. It is software as a service – SaaS in that you buy a subscription to use their online conservation planning tools. This currently includes apps to design ponds, basins and wetlands, with more planned for release this year.

Agren aggregates the data on a state by state basis and they do warn that LiDAR data is not available in all locations, but as we know the availability is increasing. I assume that one of the key aspects of their service is that they develop the required digital terrain model to assist you in designing your project.

It’s an interesting idea, with some obvious concerns about accuracy, liability and costs, but I think it is certainly worth a look.

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1 Response to LiDAR-Based Conservation Planning Tools

  1. Thanks for the mention of Agren’s conservation planning tools! We’re very excited to get them out for review and evaluation- both to the natural resources community and LiDAR and GIS folks.

    We share similar concerns about data accuracy in some locations. Our tools actually use a 1m layer supplied by the customer. Obviously, the accuracy of the output can only be as good as the elevation data we start with. The real innovation in our products is the simple GIS-interface that allows a planner to layout a pond, wetland, waterway, or other conservation practice in just minutes, rather than days. Our customers are reporting huge improvements in both speed and accuracy. What used to take planners three or more engineering software tools and a field survey can now all be accomplished in about 30 minutes using the LiDAR data and a single on-line software application.

    Check us out at We’d love to hear more about what you think!

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