Remote sensing technology has changed the way an area is surveyed for mapping. Earlier, mapping was done using ground survey of an area to be mapped, which was both costly and time consuming. However, with technology such as LIDAR, an area can be easily surveyed using remote sensing equipment. With Lidar equipment, an area of 400 miles can be surveyed in 12 hours, a task which may take many days using Land surveying. LIDAR is short for light detection and ranging; although it sounds similar to RADAR, unlike Radar which uses microwave, Lidar mapping makes use of ultraviolet, visible light and near infrared light to image objects. This makes Lidar comparatively more cost-effective as well as accurate.
Lidar technology uses air-mounted instruments which send out laser beams capable of mapping physical features with great accuracy. The instrument is used in conjunction with a GPS (Global Positioning System) device in order to get accurate location of the features being mapped. Thus, the accurate latitude, longitude and elevation of each physical feature is correctly recorded and stored. Each such data is then combined together to form a map of the area. This map can then be used for planning further projects in the area, be it construction, oil exploration, afforestation plans, wildlife explorations and even disaster management plan.
Due to this reason Lidar services have a wide range of applications, such as, gathering information for Geographic Information Systems, topographic surveys and for city planning surveys.However, the best use of Lidar technology is for surveying areas that are inaccessible, where ground surveying is impossible. These may include dense forest, densely populated areas, difficult terrains and even underwater exploration.New innovation, such as Lidar, combined with computer technology is of tremendous help to planners, technicians, geologists and other professionals who require accurate map of an area.