LIDAR + Prince Edward Island

Six years ago I built a little script to scrape all of the public GIS data from the Province of PEI’s GIS Data Layers website; the script still works, and you can grab it here.

By way of making sure it still works, I ran it, and grabbed all the data–1.2 GB in all.

One layer caught my eye in the downloads directory, Lidar_Ct.SHP. I loaded it up into QGIS and this lovely rendering of the Island appeared before me:

Rendering of the PEI LIDAR contours

This is one of those situations where it’s helpful not to see the trees in the forest: zoom in closer and all you see is a confusing thicket of contour lines, but zoom out to the entire Island, and it’s rich Corinthian leather.

Want to try this at home? Follow these steps:

  1. Download an install QGIS (it’s free).
  2. Download and unzip the LIDAR GIS layer (that’s a direct-download link to save you steps).
  3. Open the resulting Lidar_Ct.shp file in QGIS.
  4. Enjoy.