LiDAR technology measures the differences in laser pulse response times. The result is an extremely detailed topography map and heat signatures that can show buildings and changes in the ground depth with astounding accuracy. While archeologists have used LiDAR to find never-before-seen buildings and structures, it has many other potential smaller-scale uses as well.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, LiDAR mapping companies are using their technology to examine the effects of social distancing.
LiDAR Mapping Companies Use the Technology to Measure Social Distancing Efforts
There are still a lot of unknowns about COVD-19, but it seems that social distancing is one of the best ways to decrease the spread of the disease. LiDAR technology can be used to measure where people are located, so companies and governments can track not only whether social distancing controls are being followed, but also whether they are effective.
LiDAR may be able to measure:
- The total number of people in a given area
- The location of individual people
- The distance between individuals
The technology provides real-time 3D imaging in a way that does not affect any of the people nearby.
Using LiDAR to Encourage Social Distancing
While LiDAR cannot create social distancing in and of itself, it can gather information to alert others to take action. For example, if the real-time data shows too many people in a room, business owners or government officials can step in to ensure that occupancy limits are met. They might also have the tools to address situations where people are congregating too closely together—either directly or by implementing policies to address problem areas.
LiDAR mapping companies are taking steps to further explore how this technology can be useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as businesses and government locations begin to reopen their doors.