Technology Forum: Increasing the Impact of High Resolution Topography Data with OpenTopography

Thursday, June 17, 2021

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PDT

This event will be held remotely.

High-resolution topography is a powerful tool for studying the Earth's surface, vegetation, and urban landscapes, with broad scientific, engineering, and educational-based applications. Over the past decade, there has been dramatic growth in the acquisition of these data for scientific, environmental, engineering and planning purposes. In the US, the U.S. Geological Society is undertaking the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) to map the entire lower 48 with lidar by 2023.

The richness of these topography datasets make them extremely valuable beyond the application that drove their acquisition and thus are of interest to a large and varied user community. A cyberinfrastructure platform that enables users to efficiently discover, access and process these massive volumes of data increases the impact of investments in collection of the data and catalyzes scientific discovery as well as informs critical decisions that are made across our Nation every day that depend on elevation data, ranging from immediate safety of life, property, and environment to long term planning for infrastructure projects. 

Join us to hear about the motivations, technology, and data assets behind the National Science Foundation funded OpenTopography platform, which aims to democratize access to high resolution topographic data. OpenTopography’s innovation is in co-locating massive volumes of topographic data with processing tools that enable users with varied expertise and application domains to quickly and easily access and process data, to enable innovation and decision making.


Viswanath Nandigam, SDSC

Associate Director for the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Development Lab, SDSC

Viswanath Nandigam is the Associate Director for the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Development Lab at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD. He is the principal investigator/co-investigator on several federally-funded data intensive projects including the NSF funded OpenTopography project. His research interests include scientific data management and distribution, web-based data distribution platforms, data intensive application development, parallel and federated database systems and information integration.