Continental Mapping provided high accuracy lidar mapping for the US National Park Service’s Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in North Dakota.

The National Park Service needed a high accuracy map of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site for an archaeological study and to assist park managers with the identification of natural resources and threats to resource integrity such as river erosion or changes to plant communities within the park. The lidar data was collected using a low flying helicopter to assure that the needed accuracies and point spacing specifications were met. Data was acquired by subcontractor Metro Geospatial and Continental Mapping generated a high accuracy elevation model of the area.

This project area contained earth lodge depressions, constructed mounds, trails, and other signs of Native American occupation. Lidar analysts used great care and custom methodologies to preserve these important features during lidar processing. Having worked on similar projects for the Park Service in the past, Continental Mapping analysts were very aware of the issues with post-processing the point cloud that could remove valuable information about these features.

The project covered 8.4 square miles. Lidar data was collected within days of the award and Continental Mapping was able to provide a cost savings to the National Park Service by coordinating with proposed team member Metro Geospatial to use a lidar sensor that was already in the area, reducing mobilization costs.

Deliverables included: Raw data in .ascii and .las file formats), Bare-earth DEM in ArcGrid format at .25m resolution, First and last returns, Classified tiles in .las version 1.2 file format, FGDC metadata.


Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site Aerial Lidar


US National Park Service

Lidar point cloud of Knife River and shoreline in North Dakota