Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) is a remote sensing system used to gather topographic data. Data are typically collected using aircraft-mounted lasers capable of measuring elevation with great precision. Researchers at EROS combine high-resolution, three-dimensional lidar elevation data with high-resolution satellite images to reveal vegetation characteristics (for example, tree canopy height) or highlight human-made structures such as buildings and dams. They also use these data to create realistic, three-dimensional visualizations of landscapes or events such as floods, forest fires, and landslides.

Lidar Point Cloud Image—Structures in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina.
Lidar Point Cloud Image
Structures in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina.

Learn more about lidar at EROS: