Let’s scan the whole planet with LiDAR
BLUFChris Fisher describes how Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) can document in intricate detail the entire Earth, everything on it and why the results could be of critical importance for future generations.
This article about LiDAR makes the following points:
- In 2009, Chris Fisher used Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) to map an ancient urban megalopolis of 26 square kilometres, hidden in the Mosquitia rainforest.
- In 45 minutes, LiDAR collected the same amount of data that would have taken decades by hand.
- The quality of the data is significantly better.
- LiDAR involves shooting a dense grid of laser pulses from an aircraft to the Earth's surface, resulting in a high-resolution scan of the ground and everything on it.
- Notre Dame Cathedral was recently severely damaged by fire. The cathedral had been scanned in 2010 using LiDAR and will prove invaluable in the reconstruction.
- Organizations are recording the world's historical monuments.
Earth Archive are LiDAR-scanning the entire planet to:
- Create a baseline record of the Earth as it exists today.
- Create a virtual planet so that scientists can study it.
- Preserve a record of the planet for future study.