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'New LiDAR elevation mapping gives detailed insights into Stewart Island'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The first set of high-resolution 3D mapping data for the Oban area of Rakiura Stewart Island has been released publicly as part of the Provincial Growth Fund-LiDAR elevation data capture project.

LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses-combined with other data recorded by the airborne system - generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.

Environment Southland acting general manager, strategy, planning and engagement, Lucy Hicks said: "LiDAR data will greatly improve Environment Southland projects such as hazard planning, policy, compliance, community advice, farm mapping and management plans, as well as understanding landscape change and hydrological processes such as stream flow estimation and catchment size.

"The benefits of LiDAR over other techniques includes higher resolutions, centimetre accuracies, large coverage areas, high point density and ground detection in densely vegetated terrain."

Southland District Council business solutions manager Jock Hale said: "Stewart Island Rakiura LiDAR represents an exciting new digital reality as the most complete and accurate height and feature data of the island to date.

"The technical standards set by Land Information New Zealand provide country-wide capture and output consistency, enabling opportunities to share and harness more sophisticated spatial analytics on a range of applications that affect ratepayers, like development potential and asset management.

"In turn, this partnership between Southland District Council, Environment Southland and our national stakeholders supports better integrated evidence-based decision making."

Murihiku Southland is one of 10 regions partnering with ToitÅ« Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand to obtain a baseline elevation data set. Co-funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is supporting the regional expansion of ToitÅ« Te Whenua’s 3D mapping programme to provide a significant increase in national coverage.

Current LiDAR data coverage across the country sits at 25 percent and is set to increase to 80 percent by 2024, when the project is due to be completed. The Oban LiDAR data is now available on the LINZ Data Service

Further data for the Murihiku Southland region will be shared as it becomes available.

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