Elevation data (LiDAR)

About our Elevation data (LiDAR)

Elevation data or LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is a technology using laser sensors mounted on aircraft that fly over a landscape to capture a 3D view of the land. The sensor measures the time it takes for light to travel back and forth from the sensor to the ground. Because the sensor can rapidly pulse a laser beam, it can capture a "point cloud" of highly accurate 3D measurements – like a digital twin of the landscape.

The 11 Canterbury councils together with public-private partnership have captured a collection of LiDAR across Canterbury. Our aim is to have all of Canterbury captured by 2024. You can view what LiDAR is available and what LiDAR is coming by visiting the LiDAR collection map.

To find out more about elevation data and what is coming, visit Elevation Aotearoa

Downloading our LiDAR

We have partnered with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to provide our LiDAR (DEM, DSM, LIDAR & Contour datasets) on the LINZ Data Service (LDS). From the LDS website you can order a whole collection or define an area of interest to download data within.

There are 6 LiDAR datasets which are not available for download on LINZ Data Service. The Survey Names are listed below as referenced from the LiDAR Extents layer.

  • AAMH_Waimakariri_LiDAR_2005

  • NZAM 10027 Ashburton

  • NZAM 10027 Timaru Town and Coast

  • NZAM 10027 Selwyn

  • 26693A_11290A01NOK Selwyn River West

  • 27413A14NOK Kaikoura LiDAR 2017

These LiDAR datasets can be accessed through Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer. Please follow the instructions below to access and download these LiDAR datasets.

Canterbury Maps guide to downloading LiDAR from Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer.

To download Point Cloud Data visit OpenTopography.