3D Elevation Program (3DEP)
FY19/20 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)
Information Sharing Site

What is 3DEP?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program developed the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) to respond to the growing needs for high-quality topographic data and for a wide range of other three-dimensional (3D) representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features. The primary goal of 3DEP is to systematically collect 3D elevation data in the form of light detection and ranging (lidar) data over the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories, with data acquired over an 8-year period. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) data will be acquired for Alaska, where cloud cover and remote locations preclude the use of lidar in much of the State.

The 3DEP program is based on the results of the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment that documented more than 600 business uses across 34 Federal agencies, all 50 States, selected local government and Tribal offices, and private and nonprofit organizations. A fully funded and implemented 3DEP would provide more than $690 million annually in new benefits to government entities, the private sector, and citizens.

Today, about $50 million is invested annually in lidar and IfSAR data by all public agencies, and the U.S. Interagency Elevation Inventory  shows that only 35 percent of the lower 49 States and territories has lidar data that meet the quality levels needed. An additional $96 million is needed annually to implement 3DEP. This would result in a nearly 5:1 return on investment, save lives, and improve our environment through informed decisions.


3DEP is built around partnerships because no one entity can accomplish it independently. 3DEP presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between all levels of government, to leverage the services and expertise of private sector mapping firms that acquire the data, and to create jobs now and in the future. When partners work together, they can achieve efficiencies and lower costs so that 3DEP can become a reality. When 3D elevation data are available to everyone, new innovations will occur in forest resource management, alternative energy, agriculture, and other industries for years to come.


To download 3DEP data visit: http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/basic/

3DEP Partnership Opportunities

The FY19/FY20 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is scheduled for release in September 2019.  The BAA provides detailed information on how to partner with the USGS and other Federal agencies to acquire high-quality 3D Elevation data. Information and contacts will be posted to Fed Biz Opps and Grants.gov. Applicants may contribute funds toward a USGS lidar data acquisition activity via the Geospatial Products and Services Contracts (GPSC) or they may request 3DEP funds toward a lidar data acquisition activity where the requesting partner is the acquiring authority. Federal agencies, state and local governments, tribes, academic institutions and the private sector are eligible to submit proposals. Proposals will be due in October 2019.



 FY20 Public Webinar Presentation from August 7, 2019- Available Late August 2019

FAQ – Updated Weekly beginning August 12, 2019


3DEP Federal Best Practices 
Successful implementation of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) depends on the development and adoption of a unified Federal approach to acquiring data. The purpose of the this document is to outline several best practices to aid the Federal 3DEP community in reaching a higher level of coordinated implementation, maximize Federal data investments, and to reduce the number of years it will take to complete national coverage. The best practices are provided to Federal agencies as a check list to assess the level of their participation and to inspire further adoption of Federal enterprise practices that will advance joint 3DEP coverage goals for the benefit of their missions and the Nation as a whole. It is anticipated that additional best practices will be defined and added as the effort matures.


Reference Materials

Reference materials associated with the BAA will be made available when the BAA is released.


Project Awards
The selection of awards is dependent on the availability of funding. Project selection and notification will begin in November 2019 and continues into 2020. Awards are ongoing, to review the list and description of previous project awards, visit: BAA Awards.


3DEP and BAA Presentations in your state

Visit the NGP User Engagement Office web page to access a document listing 3DEP and BAA presentations that are provided by National Map Liaisons

View the Proposed Collection Areas – Look for an opportunity to partner with Federal agency and other stakeholders on proposed projects in your geographic area of interest

Propose an Area of Interest – Share your plans and areas of interest with other stakeholders in your geographic area of interest


Updated on August 12, 2019
Elevation Theme

Community Type: NGDA

Sponsor: FGDC

Sponsor Email: NGDATeam@fgdc.gov

Theme Lead Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Theme Lead: Ashley Chappell (NOAA), Diane Eldridge (USGS)