Coastal Flooding & Solutions, Workshop Case Studies

High-resolution (2 m) 3-D Mapping for Habitat, Biodiversity, and Flood Hazard Assessments of Coastal and Wetland Areas of the Southern US from Florida to Texas (3D Wetlands Spoke)

Location: US Gulf of Mexico wetlands, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas

Submitted By: Frank E. Muller-Karger - University of South Florida, College of Marine Science. Professor

Project URLs:;

Project Description

We developed 2 m spatial resolution topographic and land cover maps of the south States within 50 Km of the coast from Texas to Florida (>220,000 square Km). The maps were constructed using detailed historical airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data collected from airplanes merged with high spatial resolution (~2 m pixel) multispectral commercial satellite imagery (WorldView/Maxar). The project includes research into detailed 3D mapping of coastal areas using Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and multispectral classification methods using airborne drones (cm-scale resolution). The production of land cover maps and digital elevation models (DEMs) required fusion of large amounts of data and efficient, automated techniques. The project examines in detail areas that were directly impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The 3D maps show habitat diversity, needed to plan for conservation and development in these important ecosystems. We seek collaborations to use these products in planning of development and land use. Products are openly available using Google Earth Engine. The program is a collaboration of researchers from the University of South Florida (College of Marine Science, School of Geosciences), Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute, and Google Earth Engine, joined through the NSF South Big Data Hub.

Key Successes

Open high spatial resolution (2 m) regional land cover and digital elevation maps


Large volumes of data, validation, research and management applications, funding, data management

Any questions regarding this posting, email