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Aerial LiDAR and digital imaging services

The role LiDAR plays in helping monitor environmental shifts

The information provided by highly detailed 3D maps helps scientists, conservationists, and public servants with the information needed to understand an area’s biodiversity, unexpected terrain differences, and changes over time. LiDAR plays an important role as it is becoming a more reliable tool in the quest to save forests, animals, and humans.

LiDAR data and application

LiDAR has commonly been used for security applications. However, its uses go a long way and can be applied to a variety of industries. Because of its ability to quickly map and provide data on large areas, LiDAR has been embraced by scientists to study forests, glaciers, coastlines, and cities, all of which have different heights, are difficult to navigate by foot, and are too complex to measure by satellite. LiDAR uses shorter wavelength laser pulses and is transmitted in a much thinner beam, so it can collect much more data in one pass in comparison to other longer-wavelength scanners.

A study on forests

Using airborne LiDAR systems has enabled researchers to measure the height of previously unmapped trees and study the factors that may support the biodiversity of forests. A study done a few years ago attempted to characterize forest successional stages across a diverse, mixed-species forest in Idaho. Around 30,000 hectares on Moscow Mountain were mapped. LiDAR data proved to be especially useful for measuring forest structural attributes such as canopy height, basal area, and LAI. The maps created using the LiDAR data represented a significant advancement in forest succession modeling and wildlife habitat assessment.

Determining environmental conditions

LiDAR technologies are being used by researchers to measure, map, and monitor a wall-to-wall map of forest biomass carbon. The information taken will be used to predict the response of ice sheets to climate change and its impact on the sea level; determine the likelihood of landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions; and characterize the effects of changing climate and land use on species habitats and carbon budget, to mention a few.

LiDAR keeps helping and allowing researchers and scientists to learn more about the environment and its changes in order to save and study it in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

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