Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Mat-Su LiDAR & Imagery Project 2011-2012

General Information


MSB GIS Division

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., GIS Specialist


(907) 861-8695

The MSB LiDAR & Imagery Project is a collection of high-resolution elevation data and aerial imagery for 3680 square miles of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) as well as the development of a number of ancillary datasets. For data management purposes the project has been divided into 7 blocks/areas: Matanuska, Core Area, Point MacKenzie, Willow, Caswell Lakes, Talkeetna, & North Susitna.

The project is being managed by the MSB in collaboration with the US Geological Survey (USGS) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The following partners have contributed funding and/or resources to the project:

  • Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP);
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS);
  • Alaska Energy Authority (AEA);
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS);
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC);
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Mat-Su Salmon Partnership;
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE);
  • Alaska Pacific University (APU) &
  • Matanuska Susitna Borough (MSB).

All data developed as a part of this project is Public Domain.


  1. Orthorectified, multispectral, 4-band imagery (RGB & NIR); ½ ft resolution, for a 270 sq/mi urban area; 1 ft resolution, for the entire 3680 sq/mi project area (formats: Jpg2000, MrSid2, & uncompressed Tiff)
  2. Point Cloud Data w/ 1m true nominal pulse spacing (nps) and 0.6m nps through overlap (these data meet both USGS & FEMA specs); classified and unclassified (format: LAS)
  3. Automated “vegetation” classification; low (1-6ft), medium (6-15ft) and high (>15ft) (format: stored in the point cloud LAS files)
  4. 1 m first return digital surface model (DSM) (aka top of canopy) (format: uncompressed TIFF)
  5. 1 m bare earth digital elevation model (DEM) w/ hydro-flattening (format: uncompressed TIFF)
  6. 1 m first return hillshade (format: uncompressed TIFF)
  7. 1 m bare earth hillshade (format: uncompressed TIFF)
  8. 1 m intensity images (format: uncompressed TIFF)
  9. 2 ft contours (formats: dxf, geodatabase, shapefile)
  10. Building footprints @ 97% accuracy (formats: geodatabase, shapefile)
  11. Hydro breaklines (formats: geodatabase, shapefile)

Order Data

The Mat-Su LiDAR and Imagery project is important to a wide range of users. Some are only interested in one or two particular products or areas, while others want all products in all areas. As a result, there are two options for ordering data.

Option 1
All LiDAR and Imagery products, for the entire project area, can be ordered from the MSB Borough GIS division. For more information or to order all the data, please contact:
Heather Kelley : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. : 907-861-8695

Option 2
Data can be downloaded from a Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA) webpage. This allows for individual products to be directly downloaded, however download times can be long because of the large files sizes. GINA also serves up web mapping services of the imagery and hillshades. The GINA webpage is funded by the Alaska Energy Authority. GINA Webpage (download data)

For data management purposes the project has been divided into 7 blocks/areas. Most of the project area was flown in 2011. A small portion of LiDAR in Hatcher Pass area and portions of the imagery of the Matanuska and Core Area blocks were flow in 2012.

The following table shows which products are available for each block.

Block Imagery LiDAR &
Ancillary Products
½ ft Resolution 1ft Resolution
Point MacKenzie Block  N/A  Available  Available
Willow Block  N/A  Available  Available
Caswell Lake Block  N/A  Available  Available
Talkeetna Block  N/A  Available  Available
North Susitna Block  N/A  Available  Available
Matanuska Block  Available (urban area only)  Available  Available
Core Area Block  Available (urban area only)  Available  Available

The status can fall into one of two categories:
Available = Prepared for distribution and available.
N/A =
Product not available for the area.