James Van Rens Appointed to the National Geospatial 3DEP Advisory Subcommittee

Image 1: USGS Four images created with 3DEP quality LiDAR and ifSAR technology.

Left to right, clockwise: Digital Elevation Model of the Red River near Fargo, ND; ifSAR Digital Surface Model; LiDAR point cloud image of Dulles Airport, VA; LiDAR point cloud image of the transportation network in Denver, CO.

Image 2: James Van Rens, RIEGL USA Senior Vice President

RIEGL USA is proud to announce that widely recognized Geospatial Industry Ambassador James Van Rens, long term Executive manager with RIEGL USA Inc. and Treasurer of the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC), has been approved as a new member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) subcommittee to represent the Private geospatial Sector. Members undergo an approval process led by Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Chair Tanya Trujillo and appointed by NGAC Chair Gary Thompson.   

The National Landslides Preparedness Act (NLPA) established a new 3DEP subcommittee of the NGAC that is required to conduct assessments of trends and developments in applications of 3D elevation data and the effectiveness of the U.S. Geological Survey 3DEP. The subcommittee will also submit biennial reports to the Secretary of the Interior and the 3DEP Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee as specified under the NLPA.

“It is an honor to serve our country and our industry and related professions.” commented James Van Rens. “The appointment reflects the importance of professional and Industry organizations such as ASPRS, MAPPS and US Geo.. These organizations have been integral in supporting the development and growth of 3DEP. My position on the committee will enable a deeper understanding of geospatial technology. I will also be an important voice for the geospatial community on issues back to the committees.”

About 3DEP:

The 3D Elevation Program is managed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program to respond to growing needs for high-quality topographic data and for a wide range of other three-dimensional (3D) representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features. 3DEP 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.

3DEP is based on the results of the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA) that was funded by National Digital Elevation Program (NDEP) agencies and completed in 2011. The study, led by the USGS, identified more than 600 requirements for enhanced (3D) elevation data to address mission-critical information requirements of 34 Federal agencies, all 50 States, and a sample of private sector companies and Tribal and local governments. 

USGS.gov | Science for a changing world


The membership of the subcommittee, as required by the NLPA, includes not fewer than 11 members representing several sectors engaged in elevation data activities. 

Private Sector 

  • James Van Rens, RIEGL USA Inc. 
  • Stewart Walker, Lidar Magazine 

State and Local Government 

  • Gary Thompson, State of North Carolina (Subcommittee Chair) 
  • Gale Blackmer, Pennsylvania Geological Survey (Subcommittee Vice Chair) 
  • Gar Clarke, State of New Mexico 
  • William Haneberg, State of Kentucky 
  • Steven Steinberg, County of Los Angeles, CA 

Regional Government 

  • Lynn Dupont, New Orleans Regional Planning Commission 

Research and Academic Institutions 

  • David Maidment, University of Texas (Emeritus) 

Industry Standards Development Organizations 

  • Mark Reichardt, Open Geospatial Consortium (Ret.) 


  • Karen Gaffney, West Coast Watershed 


  • Garet Couch, National Tribal Geographic Information Support Center 

About RIEGL:

RIEGL is an international leading provider of cutting-edge technology in airborne, mobile, terrestrial, industrial and unmanned laser scanning solutions for applications in surveying.

RIEGL has been producing LiDAR systems commercially for over 40 years and focuses on pulsed time-of-flight laser radar technology in multiple wavelengths.

RIEGL’s core Smart-Waveform technologies provide pure digital LiDAR signal processing, unique methodologies for resolving range ambiguities, multiple targets per laser shots, optimum distribution of measurements, calibrated amplitudes and reflectance estimates, as well as the seamless integration and calibration of systems.

RIEGL’s Ultimate LiDARTM 3D scanners offer a wide array of performance characteristics and serve as a platform for continuing Innovation in 3D for the LiDAR industry.

From the first inquiry, to purchase and integration of the system, as well as training and support, RIEGL maintains an outstanding history of reliability and support to their customers.

Worldwide sales, training, support and services are delivered from RIEGL’s headquarters in Austria and in the USA; main offices in, Japan, China, Australia, Canada and the UK; and a worldwide network of representatives.



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