LiDAR Training Videos

Return to "Conservation Applications of LiDAR"

The following 5-minute videos describe how to process LiDAR data within ArcGIS to help identify critical areas on the landscape for conservation purposes.

Hint: To see these videos on a full screen, click on the square box near the right side of the control bar at the bottom of the video.

The videos were developed and narrated by Jake Galzki and Joel Nelson (, 612-625-9235) of the University of Minnesota Department of Soil Water and Climate, and produced by David Lindeman (UM OIT Video Solutions). Funding was from the Clean Water Legacy Act, through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), under Project Managers Adam Birr and Barbara Weisman. 

Module 1: Data Pre-processing

Creating a hydrologically corrected Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with LiDAR contours or spot elevations.

0:00 Using the topo to raster interpolation command to convert contours or spot elevations to a DEM
2:20 When and why to do sink or pit filling to improve modeling of hydrologic flow
4:45 How to do pit filling

Module 2: Terrain Attribute Calculation

Calculating basic primary and secondary terrain attributes such as Stream Power Index with a DEM.

0:30 Calculate flow direction
0:57 Calculate flow accumulation
1:25 Calculate slope
2:00 Calculate Stream Power Index (adjusting cells with 0 values, and normalizing data)
3:50 Calculate Compound Topographic Index (or Wetness Index)

Module 3: Terrain Attribute Applications

An example of how terrain attributes may guide conservation efforts.

0:00 Using SPI to identify areas of surface erosion such as gullies and side inlets.
3:30 Using CTI to determine areas of potential wetland restoration.

For more information, contact:

Les Everett
U of M Water Resources
Phone: 612-625-6751