Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Lidar - What is it Good For?

Last week the UK's Environment Agency announced that it will map the entire country using lidar. The announcement mentions the benefit of lidar data in mapping flood risk, detecting illegal waste dumps, assessing wildlife habitats & tree cover and identifying sites of archaeological importance.

These are a just a few ways in which lidar data can be used. The Washington Geological Survey has created an interesting interactive map explaining and illustrating some of the other ways in which lidar data can be used to expose geology and natural hazards. The Bare Earth is an Esri story map which explains how Washington State uses lidar to map and study large areas "particularly in places where trees and vegetation obscure the landscape".

As you progress through this story map the Bare Earth explains and illustrates how lidar data is used to identify landslides, monitor volcanic imagery, identify active faults, model potential tsunami impacts, monitor the state's glaciers and map the state's flood plains. All of these examples are illustrated with actual lidar data and satellite imagery of these geological features in Washington.

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