LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a powerful remote sensing technology that uses laser light to measure the distance between the source and an object on the Earth's surface. This distance is then used to calculate the elevation of the object, allowing for the creation of three-dimensional models and digital elevations of the land. Topographic LiDAR typically uses near-infrared laser light to map the land, while bathymetric LiDAR uses green light that can penetrate water to measure the elevations of seabeds and riverbeds. In essence, LiDAR follows a simple principle: it emits laser light at an object on the Earth's surface and measures the time it takes for the light to return to its source.
This time is then used to calculate the distance traveled, which is then converted into elevation. The data collected by LiDAR is incredibly useful for a variety of applications, such as mapping terrain, creating 3D models of buildings, and measuring vegetation heights. It can also be used to detect changes in land cover over time, as well as for flood risk assessment and landslide detection. LiDAR is an incredibly versatile technology that can be used in a variety of ways. From mapping terrain to detecting changes in land cover over time, LiDAR has become an invaluable tool for scientists, engineers, and other professionals.