Q: What is GRiD?
A: The Geospatial Repository and Data Management (GRiD) System was developed in
partnership between U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Cold Regions Research and
Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to
serve as an advanced enterprise level database for geospatial data. GRiD is designed to
store, process, visualize, and disseminate a variety of geospatial datasets, such as 3D
pointcloud data (e.g., Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR)) and associated 2D geospatial
products (e.g., digital elevation model (DEM), imagery, etc.).
Q: What are the benefits of GRiD?
A: Current storage and data management mechanisms do not enable efficient utilization of
geospatial datasets. These systems are typically flat file repositories which do not effectively
manage complex 3D datasets, nor handle very large datasets, which increase bandwidth
and connectivity requirements. GRiD fills these gaps and addresses both data provider and
Q: What types of data are available within GRiD?
A: 3D pointcloud data, such as from LIDAR, Electro-Optical (EO), or radar, as well as 2D
geospatial data, including EO, Relative Intensity Image (RII), Digital Elevation Models
(DEMs), Infrared Imagery (IR). Mesh and vector data available on some systems.
Q: Why am I getting an error or security warning when visiting GRiD?
A: To ensure secure DoD websites and DoD-signed code are properly validated,
the user's system must trust the DoD Root Certificate Authorities (CAs). GRiD uses DoD Root
Certificates to provide a secure end-to-end connection for its users, therefore, as a user of GRiD,
you may need to manually install the DoD CA certificates on your personal or non-DoD computer
in order to access GRiD via a secure connection. For additional information and instructions, please see
GRiD Help, Section 1.5 DoD Root Certificates
for screenshots and information.
Q: How can I determine where GRiD has available data?
A: Click on Map on the top left banner. Once on the Map interface,
turn on the data layers on the left side of the interface to see what datasets are available
over desired regions.
Q: How do I see what data is available over my Area of Interest (AOI)?
A: Once on the Map interface of GRiD, the user can view an area by manually zooming to
the region, or by entering a coordinate in the search bar. The user can then turn
on the data layers to see what data is specifically over their AOI.
Q: What is a pointcloud?
A: A pointcloud is a set of data points in some coordinate system. In a 3D coordinate system,
these points are defined as X, Y, Z coordinates, and often are intended to represent the
external surface of an object. Pointclouds may collected by 3D scanning systems such as
LIDAR, or generated by algorithms using EO or radar data.
Q: What if there are no DEMs, but only pointcloud data, over my AOI, what do I do?
A: If there is no DEM data available over the desired AOI, or even if the available DEM data
does not satisfy requirements, the user can create a DEM from pointcloud data over their AOI.
This function is available on the “Export” page, using the “Create DEM from Pointcloud”
function. Read more here.
Q: Are there any freely available applications to view/utilize pointclouds?
A: Yes, a few 3D pointcloud viewer applications that are freely downloadable:
- Quick Terrain Reader: http://www.appliedimagery.com
- Cesium: https://cesium.com/platform/cesium-ion/3d-tiling-pipeline/point-clouds/
See a comprehensive list of 3D pointcloud viewers here.
Q: There isn’t any pointcloud data available over my AOI, is there a way to request
pointcloud data over my AOI?
A: Yes. There is a program called P3D which utilizes available EO data and processes it into
3D pointcloud data. This data is only available on the classified systems. Users can request EO
pointcloud data over their desired AOI via the GRiD interface. Once the user creates an AOI
within GRiD, click on the “AOI Options” drop-down menu and select “Request P3D Pointcloud”.
Q: I am a low bandwidth user who requires large downloads of data. How can I get the data I need?
A: Low bandwidth users requiring large downloads of data may contact NGA’s Custom Media Team for additional assistance.
Alternatively, please contact the Custom Media Team directly at 636-321-5285.
Q: Does the GRiD program provide training?
A: Yes, the GRiD team is available to provide virtual or in-person training at your location. Training can be
customizable based on the user’s specific needs. Please contact the GRiD team to coordinate.
Q: If I encounter an error, what do I do?
A: If you receive a website error, retry the action as it could be network related. If you continue
to get the same error, please contact the GRiD Help Desk at any of the phone numbers or
email addresses listed here.
Q: What if I have additional questions?
A: Please contact the GRiD Help Desk at any of the available phone numbers or email
addresses listed here for any and all questions.