What is the benefit of using lidar?

Surface data has a higher sample density. The high density of the sample improves results in certain applications, such as the delineation of floodplains. So how does it work? It sends pulses of laser light and measures the time it takes for light to hit the object and return to the sensor. The pulses are sent in nanoseconds, allowing areas to be scanned at high speed and to obtain comprehensive, high-precision 3D images to create elevation maps and much more.

Given the speed and large surface area that can be scanned, together with the high-precision results, LiDAR is considerably cheaper than other surveying and mapping methods. It is an affordable way to carry out complex topographic surveys. The speed, cost, and enormous volume of high-precision data often make LiDAR the right choice, but it's important to know the drawbacks when planning its use. LIDAR systems allow scientists and cartographic professionals to examine natural and artificial environments with accuracy, precision and flexibility.

NOAA scientists use LIDAR to produce more accurate coastal maps, create digital elevation models for use in geographic information systems, to aid in emergency response operations, and in many other applications.

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