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 goal of 3DEP is to complete acquisition of nationwide lidar (IfSAR in AK) to provide the first-ever national baseline of consistent high-resolution elevation data – both bare earth and 3D point clouds – collected in a timeframe of less than a decade. 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 FY19/20 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) was released September 9, 2019. Information and contacts is posted to Fed Biz Opps (Reference Number 140G0119R0029) and released Oct 18, 2019 to Grants.gov (Opportunity Number G19AS00124).

The BAA provides detailed information on how to partner with the USGS and other Federal agencies to acquire high-quality 3D Elevation data. 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 November 8, 2019, and awards will be announced starting December 2019 through FY2020 subject to available funding.


Public Webinars – Learn more about how to apply for partnership funds or attend a meeting discussing 3DEP in your geographic area of interest

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 October 22, 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)