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Elevation point cloud from low-altitude aerial imagery from UAS flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2017 (LAZ file)


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Sturdivant, E.J., Thieler, E.R., Lentz, E.E., Remsen, D.P., and Miner, Simon, 2017, Topographic, imagery, and raw data associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Imagery acquired with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and coupled with structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry can produce high-resolution topographic and visual reflectance datasets that rival or exceed lidar and orthoimagery. These new techniques are particularly useful for data collection of coastal systems, which requires high temporal and spatial resolution datasets. The U.S. Geological Survey worked in collaboration with members of the Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Analytics at Black Beach, in Falmouth, Massachusetts to explore scientific research demands on UAS technology for topographic and habitat mapping applications. This project explored the application of consumer-grade UAS platforms as a cost-effective [...]


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bb20160318_sfm_points_hq.laz 18.91 MB
bb20160318_sfm_points_hq_browse.png thumbnail 285.7 KB


These points provide the calculated XYZ (horizontal and vertical) coordinates and RGB (red-green-blue) values of the land surface during a mid-day low-tide on 18 March, 2016. The product was created to demonstrate the use of structure-from-motion for coastal research and may be used to develop further datasets, such as the digital elevation models, geomorphic feature mapping, and land cover classification.

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