Skip to content

Woolpert Contracted to Acquire Topographic, Bathymetric Lidar Data, Imagery for Tonga

NUKU'ALOFA, Kingdom of Tonga

— This project for the Pacific Community incorporates the acquisition and processing of newly acquired data and imagery to assist in improving navigation safety, disaster resilience and support for the recent volcanic eruption.

The Pacific Community (SPC( )) has contracted with Woolpert( ) to acquire topographic and bathymetric lidar data and aerial imagery that can be used to develop digital elevation models for the Kingdom of Tonga. The information and derived products will support nautical charting for navigation safety, infrastructure planning and rehabilitation, and disaster resilience and recovery.

Logo –

This project complements and expands on similar geospatial data acquisitions Woolpert has performed throughout the Pacific, including projects currently underway in Vanuatu( ). The lidar data will support various sector agencies including the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC); Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources; Ministry of Infrastructure; and Tonga Ports Authority.

This project is part of SPC’s Pacific Resilience Program, funded by the World Bank, which is working to strengthen early warning systems and enhance natural disaster and climate change resilience across Pacific Island countries prone to natural disasters. In January 2022, Tonga was the site of the world’s most powerful volcanic eruption in 30 years when Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai erupted, generating tsunamis across the Pacific.

Woolpert is employing data, imagery and resources from multiple partners to optimize the utilization and application of this collection. Satellite imagery collected by Planet( ) following the eruption is helping determine whether water clarity is suitable for bathymetric lidar acquisition. The lidar data and imagery is being acquired with survey aircraft provided by Kiwi Air( ), an aviation firm based in New Zealand.

About Woolpert
Woolpert is the premier architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG) and strategic consulting firm, with a vision to become one of the best companies in the world. We innovate within and across markets to effectively serve public, private and government clients worldwide. Woolpert is an ENR Top 150 Global Design Firm, has earned six straight Great Place to Work certifications and actively nurtures a culture of growth, inclusion, diversity and respect. Founded in 1911 in Dayton, Ohio, Woolpert has 1,900 employees and more than 60 offices on four continents. For more, visit

Media contact: Woolpert PR Manager Jill Kelley; +1 937-531-1258,

SOURCE: Woolpert