Regional 3D mapping takes off

A new contract will capture better geographic data across New Zealand will help regions prepare for climate change, plan infrastructure and improve investment decisions.

The LiDAR (stands for Light Detection and Ranging) Elevation Data Capture project will collect geographic data using the same specifications across the country to create consistent and highly detailed 3D maps.

The Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage said “This means planners and investors can make well-informed decisions according to the landscape – irrespective of regional boundaries – which is particularly valuable in the agriculture and forestry sectors.”  

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is managing the initiative on behalf of the Provincial Development Unit following an announcement in October 2018 that the PGF will invest up to $19 million over five years to expand 3D mapping in the regions. 

Marlborough, Tasman, and Hawkes Bay are the first of eight regions to co-fund contracts with aerial data suppliers under the Provincial Growth Fund LiDAR Elevation Data Capture project.

Five more regions (Bay of Plenty, West Coast, Waikato, Canterbury and Southland) are also in negotiations with suppliers following the first round of funding in a national tender process that completed late last year.

Once the project is complete, New Zealand’s total LiDAR coverage is expected to increase to approximately 80%, from 10% currently.

Elevation data products created through the project will be available as open data through the LINZ Data Service.