North Dakota has seen a lot of industrial growth in the last decade, putting a strain on existing infrastructure. Continental Mapping was contracted to provide aerial lidar derived mapping of a 16.2-mile section of Route 27 in order to improve the existing roadway surface, making it able to withstand a barrage of heavy truck traffic and improve the route’s overall safety.

Transportation consulting services included preliminary design, design, environmental documentation and right of way acquisition. Continental Mapping’s role in this project was to provide the geospatial data to support all the transportation engineering services. Continental Mapping decided upon a dual approach of photogrammetric mapping and aerial lidar with a primary focus of supporting structural improvement analysis and the safety enhancements study.

The digital mapping corridor for topographic and planimetric features was centered along the roadway – extending 200’ left and right of the centerline and widening to 500’ at all intersections. Continental Mapping acquired aerial lidar for the project site at a density of no less than 8 points per square meter. New color aerial imagery was flown to support a 1” =50’ scale horizontal accuracy throughout the 16.2-mile corridor.

Services and deliverables:

  • 1” = 50’ scale mapping with a 1-foot contour interval
  • Produce a project layout including map limits and control locations in .KMZ format
  • Acquire new airborne lidar and imagery suitable for digital mapping
  • Process airborne lidar to a bare earth surface and calibrate to project control
  • Produce digital terrain, planimetric and topographic mapping to 1”= 50’ scale
  • 1-foot contours with break lines and elevation points in a .DXF or .DWG format
  • Mapping data will be compatible with AutoCAD Civil 3D version 2014
  • Project report
  • 3D digital data (DTM, planimetrics and contours) in AutoCad Civil 3D version 2014
  • Airborne lidar data in .LAS format delivered in 5,000’ x 5,000’ tiles
  • A brief narrative of the process used, including hardware and software, aerial triangulation results (including results of intermediate processes) and a field control listing.

Aerial Lidar and Photogrammetry in North Dakota


Ulteig Engineering, Inc.

Lidar point cloud visualizing Highway 27 in North Dakota.