Using laser beams, computer software and airplanes, state and federal scientists are set to begin work next month on a map of the state's 1,200 coastline.
Doug George, a project manager with the Ocean Protection Council, a state agency in Oakland involved in the project, says the images will be so detailed that the new map will identify boulders and telephone poles.
The data gathered will be used to track ocean levels, beach erosion, flooding risks and other matters.
The $3.3 million project will be supervised by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The work is expected to be finished in December, with the images posted to the Internet by next summer.