We systematically compare methods used for topographical mapping of the archaeological site of Matacanela, located in the Tuxtla Mountains of Veracruz. Specifically, we compare the results of ArcMap 10.2–processed, publically accessible LiDAR-derived data, collected and distributed for no charge by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) in Mexico–with the results of traditional topographical mapping, undertaken using a Sokkia total station. These INEGI data are coarse-grained in comparison to many of the pay-for-service LiDAR datasets that have been generated for Mesoamerican sites and regions, such as Caracol (Chase et al. 2011, 2012, 2014), Izapa (Rosenswig et al. 2013), and Tres Zapotes (Loughlin et al. 2016). Here, we consider the two approaches and the type and quality of data achieved by each, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of using either approach alone. We strongly encourage scholars working in Mexico to avail themselves of these data whenever appropriate.