This case study revolves around Jenna Leveille, the Deputy State Cartographer for the Arizona State Land Department, and her endeavors to coordinate statewide data sets and procure high-resolution elevation data. Confronted with the absence of a centralized GIS office, a LiDAR workgroup was formed under the Arizona Geographic Information Council’s Data Committee to collaborate with private and public sources and generate accurate statewide data sets. The focal point of this story is the successful partnership with VeriDaaS, which resulted in the acquisition of high-quality Geiger-mode LiDAR data for Maricopa County. These efforts yielded widespread benefits in land management, planning, and decision-making processes. Overall, the dedication and collaboration of the workgroup led to substantial advancements in Arizona’s cartographic capabilities, demonstrating the potential of public-private partnerships in acquiring valuable data across various sectors.
During this transformative project, several stakeholders played a crucial role in advancing geospatial data acquisition. Maricopa County, representing their imagery consortium comprising most cities in the Phoenix metro area, along with the Maricopa Association of Governments and Pinal County in partnership with FEMA, were key players in this initiative. To bring these stakeholders together, Jenna Leveille, the Deputy State Cartographer for the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) and coordinator for the Arizona Geographic Information Council (AGIC), leveraged her regular coordination efforts with these groups through AGIC’s statewide data coordination initiatives.
Upon learning of the opportunity, Jenna directly reached out to them, and they quickly expressed interest and came to the table. Jenna’s role with AGIC was pivotal, as it sat under the ASLD statute, where she served as the Deputy State Cartographer, responsible for statewide GIS coordination. This involved administering the Governor-appointed Council, Committees, and Workgroups that formed the GIS community in Arizona. Alongside ASLD’s business needs to support the Trust, Jenna managed all things AGIC, facilitating external coordination. For this project, Jenna represented ASLD’s interests while coordinating with the other stakeholders, ensuring effective collaboration for the successful outcome of the venture.
The quest for accurate and comprehensive cartographic data posed a significant challenge. Arizona lacked high-resolution elevation data, a crucial component for effective mapping and decision-making. To address this, a working group was formed, and their mission involved educating stakeholders and identifying funding opportunities to obtain LiDAR data for the entire state. Navigating the complexities of funding and coordination proved to be arduous tasks. Nonetheless, through the collective effort of the working group and the support of the community, Arizona successfully overcame these challenges. The working group provided a comprehensive understanding of hazards, implemented efficient land management practices, and identified development opportunities. Jenna’s role in the project served both the citizens of Arizona and the state’s interests by ensuring the effective utilization of land resources and mitigating potential risks.
Eager to transform this venture into reality, Jenna and the workgroup proactively engaged with various stakeholders and organizations, seeking support and funding. Though initial challenges hindered the acquisition of necessary resources, FEMA stepped forward to offer assistance, enabling the project to proceed. This innovative initiative marked a public-private collaboration aimed at acquiring high-quality LiDAR data for Maricopa County, the largest and most densely populated county in Arizona. The VeriDaaS partnership utilized a cutting-edge Geiger-mode sensor, a device never before proposed for such a project. Its acceptance represented a significant milestone in LiDAR data acquisition. Despite encountering obstacles that caused the project timeline to extend, the team ultimately triumphed. They successfully met the project’s specifications, generating a wealth of valuable data for stakeholders across various domains. The data is now available via ArcGIS Online and AZGeo, the Arizona State Geospatial Clearinghouse for use within the state for future planning projects.
Jenna emphasized the profound impact of the VeriDaaS partnership. The availability of high-resolution LiDAR data revolutionized decision-making processes, particularly in critical areas such as flood control, emergency management, city planning, and land optimization. Furthermore, the project’s success established an innovative model of partnership and investment, generating interest and opening new possibilities for other organizations.
In summary, this case study chronicles the challenges encountered in acquiring high-resolution elevation data, the triumph of the VeriDaaS partnership in obtaining LiDAR data, and the profound positive impacts of the project on various sectors. Jenna’s unwavering dedication and collaborative approach ensured that Arizona had access to accurate and valuable cartographic data, enabling informed decision-making.
“VeriDaaS has been critical in Arizona achieving their goals. The generosity of the in-kind partnership has really made a difference for us to get the data that we need. We wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise and we learned that the technology worked, and we could get what we needed from it. So, there was a proven track record for the Northern Arizona project that was another 6000 square miles.”
About the Arizona State Land Department:
Arizona possesses over 9 million surface acres of State Trust lands, scattered throughout the state alongside federal and private lands, amounting to approximately 13% of Arizona’s total surface land ownership. Congress granted the conveyance of federal land grants to territories in the west at statehood to provide essential support for fundamental public services, including education and penitentiaries. Congress further mandated that these lands be held in perpetual trust, with management and disposition standards codified within the states’ constitution. State Trust lands play a significant role in both rural and urban contexts, delivering substantial benefits to local communities by stimulating economic growth and facilitating the planning of infrastructure and development corridors. The Arizona State Land Department oversees the management and planning of economic growth in these areas.
VeriDaaS, a prominent provider of geospatial intelligence solutions, recognized the increasing importance of accurate and up-to-date geospatial data in today’s dynamic digital landscape. To address this need, VeriDaaS embarked on a groundbreaking project aimed at revolutionizing geospatial data collection and processing methods. By leveraging high-definition (HD) and ultra-HD LiDAR data, VeriDaaS brings exceptionally accurate datasets, derivative products, and solutions to the market. Supported by an expert team and top-notch IT infrastructure, VeriDaaS offers some of the most accessible and high-quality products and solutions currently available.