Laser Mapping

Lasers, nasty space weapon or another tool? Equipped with a laser system, a plane collected highly precise images of New York city, its rooftops, trees, wetlands and much of what lies in between. In only four days, a twin engine aircraft equipped with an advanced version of lidar (light detection and ranging) flew back and forth over the jungle of Belize and collected data surpassing the results of decades of torturous ground mapping. After three weeks of laboratory processing, the almost 10 hours of laser measurements showed topographic detail over an area of 80 square miles, notably settlement patterns of grand architecture and modest house mounds, roadways and agricultural terrace. Such a tool can quickly measure environmental areas of concern as well as urban areas.

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