Aztalan state park showcases an ancient Middle-Mississippian village that thrived between AD 1000 and 1300.

These settlers built large, flat-topped pyramidal mounds and a stockade around their village, which is now reconstructed in the park. The prehistoric site of Aztalan is a federally designated National Historic Landmark and is a principle archaeological site in the Upper Midwest. To support further field exploration, identification, and earthwork profiles of archaeological features at this site, Wisconsin DNR called on Continental Mapping to collect lidar data and digital orthophotos in order to create a 3D historical landscape to represent Aztalan at peak occupation.

Continental Mapping provided lidar for the Aztalan archaeological site near Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Continental Mapping was responsible for the collection of aerial lidar with an average point spacing of 0.5-0.7 meter or better with vertical accuracies of 15 cm RMSE and horizontal accuracies of 0.5 meters or better.

Deliverables that Continental Mapping provided for this project included raw lidar data (point cloud), bare earth DEM at 1 meter resolution, first and last returns of lidar data, data collection reports and spatial metadata, DTM, TIN, and shaded relief model in the client’s specified data formats.

With these tools, the Wisconsin DNR was able to move forward in their efforts to develop a 3-D rendering of the Village—a valuable tool to further our understanding of the village and its inhabitants.


Cultural Mapping – Aztalan State Park Aerial Lidar


Wisconsin DNR

Lidar point cloud visualizing a river and natural scene at Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin
Profile view of a mound structure at Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin

Profile view of a mound structure at Aztalan State Park