Ground control point, navigation, and elevation data from pole surveys at Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro during field activity 2020-015-FA on March 4 and 6, 2020

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Ground control point, navigation, and elevation data from pole surveys at Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro during field activity 2020-015-FA on March 4 and 6, 2020
The data in this release map the beach and nearshore environment at Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro, MA and provide environmental context for the camera calibration information for the 2019 CoastCam installation that looks out at the coast shared by beachgoers, shorebirds, seals, and sharks. This is related to the field activity 2020-015-FA and a collaboration with the National Park Service at Cape Cod National Seashore to monitor the region that falls within the field of view of the CoastCam, which are two video cameras aimed at the beach. On March 4, 6, and 10, 2020, U.S Geological Survey and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists conducted field surveys to collect position and orientation information for the CoastCam cameras and map the field of view. Elevation data were collected using a real time kinematic – satellite navigation system (RTK-GNSS) receiver attached to a pole and walked on the beach. Point data of the beach face were collected along transects and at periodic locations of plywood targets moved throughout the day within the CoastCam view. Grain-size analysis was performed on sediment samples collected with a spade along multiple profiles from the bluff base to the intertidal zone. Images of the beach were taken with a camera (Ricoh GRII) and a post-processed kinematic (PPK) system attached to a kitesurfing kite, and high-precision targets (AeroPoints) were used as ground control points. Bathymetry was collected in the nearshore using a single-beam echosounder mounted on a surf capable self-righting electric autonomous survey vehicle. Agisoft Metashape (v. 1.6.1) was used to create a digital elevation model with the collected imagery and this was merged with the bathymetry in MatLab (v. 2020) to create a continuous topobathy product.
For more information about the WHCMSC Field Activity, see
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2021, Ground control point, navigation, and elevation data from pole surveys at Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro during field activity 2020-015-FA on March 4 and 6, 2020: data release DOI:10.5066/P9KSG1RQ, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, Woods Hole, MA.

    Online Links:

    This is part of the following larger work.

    Sherwood, C., Traykovski, P., Over, J., Borden, J., Brosnahan, S., Marsjanik, E., and Martini, M., 2021, Topographic and bathymetric data, sediment samples, and imagery collected at Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro in March 2020, U.S Geological Survey Field Activity 2020-015-FA: data release DOI:10.5066/P9KSG1RQ, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Over, J.R., Sherwood, C.R., Traykovski, P., Brosnahan, S.M., Martini, M.A., Marsjanik, E., Borden, J., 2021, Topographic and bathymetric data, sediment samples, and beach imagery collected at Head of the Meadow, Truro in March 2020, U.S Geological Survey Field Activity 2020-015-FA: U.S Geological Survey data release,
  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -70.080040
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -70.075100
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 42.053166
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 42.050199
  3. What does it look like? (JPG)
    Browse graphic of the spatial distribution of the navigation/elevation points from surveys and ground control deployments at Head of the Meadow Beach, MA
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Beginning_Date: 04-Mar-2020
    Ending_Date: 06-Mar-2020
    ground condition, no survey on 20200305, only AeroPoint data was collected on 20200306
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: tabular digital data
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      This is a Point data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):
      • Point (566)
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Grid_Coordinate_System_Name: Universal Transverse Mercator
      UTM_Zone_Number: 19
      Scale_Factor_at_Central_Meridian: 0.999600
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -69.000000
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 0.000000
      False_Easting: 500000.000000
      False_Northing: 0.000000
      Planar coordinates are encoded using row and column
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 1
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 1
      Planar coordinates are specified in meters
      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983 (National Spatial Reference System 2011).
      The ellipsoid used is GRS_1980.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257224.
      Altitude_Datum_Name: North American Vertical Datum of 1988
      Altitude_Resolution: 0.001
      Altitude_Distance_Units: meters
      Explicit elevation coordinate included with horizontal coordinates
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    2020015FA_Truro_nav_transects.csv has 579 data records, 2020015FA_Truro_nav_CoastCamTargets.csv has 32 data records, and 2020015FA_Truro_nav_AeroPoints.csv has 11 data records.
    Point positions and elevations, attributes are treated as if all CSV files are combined. (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
    USGS Field Activity Number (Source: USGS)
    2020-015-FAUSGS year, ID, and Field Activity
    An identifier for the Spectra Precision equipment used to collect survey data (Source: USGS)
    999Null value
    Range of values
    Unique point identification number, non-consecutive. (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Non-unique identifier for the type of feature measured in the table array. (Source: USGS)
    BLUFFBASE, BM1_OPEN, BM1_CLOSE, RM1_OPEN, RM1_CLOSE, LS-BERM, TRAN#, TARGET P#, CAM-01, CAM-02, ac########TARGET P#, where the # is a value between 1 and 6; BM and RM stand for Benchmark and Reference Mark with CLOSE and OPEN referring to the end or beginning of the survey and OPUS referring the Online Positioning service locations on the date collected; CAM-01 and CAM-02 are the locations of the CoastCams; TRAN #, where TRAN represents the transect and the # is a value between 1 and 9; BLUFFBASE and LS-BERM refer to points taken off transect either at the bluff or alongshore; and ac######## refer to AeroPoint IDs, ac followed by a string of eight numbers and letters.
    Feature location Y-Coordinate (NAD83(2011)/UTM Zone 19N) (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Feature location X-Coordinate (NAD83(2011)/UTM Zone 19N) (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Feature location Z-Coordinate (NAVD88) using GEOID 12B (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Feature location latitude (NAD83(2011)) (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Units:decimal degrees
    Feature location latitude (NAD83(2011)) (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Units:decimal degrees
    Feature height (NAD83(2011) GRS80) (Source: USGS)
    999Null value
    Range of values
    Feature date (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Feature time of initiation in Eastern Standard Time (EST) (Source: USGS)
    999Null value
    Range of values
    Units:HH:MM:SS EST
    These attribute definitions describe each column of information in the CSV files with the exception of additional information in the last three columns of the 2020015FA_Truro_nav_AeroPoints.csv. Those columns contain the X, Y, and Z variance, in mm, of the AeroPoint position. Null values (999) indicate the attribute was not calculated or applicable. Trailing and leading zeros may not appear in the csv and so some values may not display as many significant digits as described.
    Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: USGS Field Activity 2020-015-FA

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • U.S. Geological Survey
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    Jin-Si Over
    U.S. Geological Survey
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2269 (voice)

Why was the data set created?

The navigation and point data can be used to ground truth the digital elevation model in the larger work and be used in the external calibration of the Coastcam.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 06-Mar-2020 (process 1 of 4)
    The RTK-GNSS data was collected and processed in the following manner:
    1. A base station was set up in the parking lot on an established benchmark in the Head of the Meadow Parking lot and left on for 7 hours. An OPUS solution was calculated for the Benchmark and two Reference Marks.
    2. The two Spectra receivers were localized to the base station. The height of rover #2 is 1.9820 m, rover #3 is 1.9819 and both were collecting RTK data in NAD83(2011) Zone 19N using Geoid 12B.
    3. Rovers were then walked along the beach along nine pre-described transects perpendicular to the shoreline with one shoreline parallel transect along the berm taking points at least every 1-2 meters. Points were also taken at the top of the bluff and at the base of the bluff to characterize the slope.
    4. In order to calibrate the CoastCams looking down from the bluff to the beach, five plywood checkerboard targets were placed propped up on the beach facing towards the CoastCam. These were measured with the rovers at the intersection of the sand and the middle of the target. The same targets were moved five times, so the same attribute label may have a different time, elevation, etc.
    5. The RTK data is exported as CSV files using SurvCE (
    6. Rover data was manually redistributed into two CSV files. The first, 2020015FA_Truro_nav_transects.csv contains all the data collected to ground truth the survey site; transects, bluff points, and the benchmark measurements. The second, 2020015FA_Truro_nav_CoastCamtargets.csv, contains the positions of the plywood targets and the two CoastCam video cameras on the bluff. Person who carried out this activity:
    Jin-Si Over
    U.S Geological Survey
    384 Woods Hole Rd
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-458-8700 x2269 (voice)
    Date: 06-Mar-2020 (process 2 of 4)
    The ground control points (AeroPoints) targets were processed with the following steps:
    1. Eleven AeroPoints were deployed evenly spaced across the survey area and left on for a minimum of 3 hours to collect GNSS data.
    2. Once connected to Wifi, the AeroPoint data is uploaded and is run through a post-processing kinematic algorithm and is exported with X,Y, and Z variances in the horizontal datum NAD83(2011) to produce latitude, longitude, and ellipsoid heights and then the GEOID 12B was used to produce orthometric heights. These are exported to a CSV file named 2020015FA_Truro_AeroPoints. Person who carried out this activity:
    Peter Traykovski
    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
    Associate Professor
    226 Woods Hole Rd, #MS 12
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-289-2638 (voice)
    Date: 30-Sep-2020 (process 3 of 4)
    The 2020015FA_Truro_nav_transects.csv file was converted to a shapefile using ArcGIS 10.7.1, by right-clicking on the CSV in the catalog window and selecting using Create Feature Class - From XY data. The x-coordinate set to Easting and the y-coordinate set to Northing. The coordinate system of the input coordinates was set to the planar coordinate system NAD83(2011)/UTM Zone 19N. The CSV was saved as the shapefile 2020015FA_Truro_transects. Person who carried out this activity:
    Jin-Si Over
    U.S Geological Survey
    384 Woods Hole Rd
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-458-8700 x2269 (voice)
    Date: 14-May-2021 (process 4 of 4)
    Corrected a thesaurus keyword. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
    Positions and elevations are verified by external sources, ex: OPUS Solutions for the receivers, see Positional_Accuracy section.
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    Calculated RTK horizontal positions have an accuracy of +/- 30 centimeters. AeroPoint targets have theoretical 1 cm horizontal absolute accuracy.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    Vertical accuracy of the calculated vertical elevation above datum is +/- 1 centimeter. AeroPoint targets have a theoretical 5 cm vertical absolute accuracy.
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    Points from the foot survey were edited for quality control and some points were removed due to obvious errors (such as lack of attribute label or recording point when rover pole was on the ground), this can explain non-consecutive Point Labels. Users are advised to read the rest of the metadata record carefully for additional details.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    The files contain real-time kinematic satellite (RTK-GNSS) navigation and elevation data collected on foot using two receivers (Spectra Precision SP80 GNSS) corrected to a base station set up in the parking lot on March 04 and ground control points (AeroPoints) deployed on March 06 during USGS field activity 2020-015-FA.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints None
Use_Constraints Public domain data from the U.S. Government are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as the source of this information.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: Jin-Si Over
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-458-8700 x2269 (voice)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? contains the CSV file 2020015FA_Truro_nav_transects.csv and a shapefile (2020015FA_Truro_nav_transects.shp and additional files that make up a shapefile). The CSV files 2020015FA_Truro_nav_CoastCamtargets.csv and 2020015FA_Truro_nav_AeroPoints.csv are provided as separate files.
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Neither the U.S. Government, the Department of the Interior, nor the USGS, nor any of their employees, contractors, or subcontractors, make any warranty, express or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, nor represent that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the U.S. Geological Survey in the use of these data or related materials. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  4. How can I download or order the data?
  5. What hardware or software do I need in order to use the data set?
    The zip file contains data in CSV and Esri shapefile formats. The user must have software capable of uncompressing the zip file and reading the data formats.

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 18-Mar-2024
Metadata author:
Jin-Si Over
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Geological Survey
Woods Hole, MA

508-548-8700 x2269 (voice)
The metadata contact email address is a generic address in the event the person is no longer with USGS. (updated on 20240318)
Metadata standard:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

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