A LiDAR system measures the time it takes for the emitted light to travel to the ground and back. This time is used to calculate the distance traveled. The distance traveled is then converted to elevation. LiDAR technology has existed since the 1960s, when laser scanners were mounted on airplanes.
This type of aerial LiDAR emitted beams of light towards the ground surface to provide distance measurements. LiDAR data became a useful tool for providing accurate geospatial measurements in the late 1980s. The introduction of commercially viable GPS systems made this possible. Lidar Toolbox provides many tools for typical workflows in different LIDAR processing applications.
So what is LiDAR? We hope to have satisfied your curiosity about LiDAR (detection and range of light). Topographic LIDAR usually uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric LIDAR uses green light that penetrates the water to also measure the elevations of the seabed and riverbeds. LiDAR systems take advantage of this technology and use LiDAR data to map three-dimensional models and digital elevations. For more information on detecting and tracking vehicles using Lidar Toolbox, see the Detect, Classify and Track Vehicles Using Lidar example.