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LiDAR and the Mayan world: archaeology, tourism, and sustainable development

It seems like LiDAR keeps becoming popular more and more. This time it surprises us as an outstanding guest in the Congress of Advanced Technology and its Revelation of the Ancient Maya Culture held in Copán, Honduras. The event was attended by professionals from various areas of study such as history, archeology, anthropology, and more, dedicated to the investigation of this culture. But what was the role of LiDAR in all this? Read all about it in this article.

About the Congress

Scientists and specialists from different areas specialized in the Maya culture had the opportunity to share their findings and think about new ways to deepen their knowledge of this fascinating culture. Participants from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and many other countries gathered to collaborate in this noble work. Outstanding universities and research institutes also took part in this meeting. The organizers of the event stated that: “The highlight was the “scientifically rigorous” approach to archaeological rescue, with the support of international universities and the help of governments and multilateral organizations. Temples and tombs have been rescued, tunnels have been excavated, archaeological research centers have been established, publications have been published, habitats have been reconstructed and the whole process has been shared unreservedly with local, national, regional, and international populations.”

LiDAR’s fundamental contribution

According to a senior official of the Mundo Maya organization, LiDAR technology has been very useful for these types of studies. The use of this technology in the archaeological park of Copán was fundamental for the rescue of temples and their valorization, as has happened in several other countries. LiDAR allows the generation of high-precision models in complex terrains, such as forests or jungles, without damaging the environment. In other words, by scanning and then forming a very detailed point cloud, a very precise map of the territory can be obtained. In this way, professionals arrive at the site knowing what to look for and where. Currently, there are plans to apply this technology to the well-known Rosalila temple, famous for its excellent state of preservation, to obtain an accurate X-ray of the site.

What does this mean for the world?

In addition to the historical, anthropological, and cultural value of the findings enabled by LiDAR in this project, it opens a new door for the advancement of sustainable tourism that allows not only the obtaining of funds to continue with these investigations but also an improvement in the living conditions of local communities. A real win-win situation for all parties involved, which could soon be replicated in other parts of the planet.

Once again, LiDAR makes another great contribution to the development of science and technology. Don’t miss the opportunity to work with the tool chosen by the most ambitious projects, you too can be part of the future. Contact us to find out how you can apply LiDAR to your project.

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