FAQ for ISO 19115 and 19115-2 Back to Collection NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC/MGG/Lidar

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2003 Maryland Department of Natural Resources LiDAR: Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot,and Wicomico Counties, with portions of Caroline, Kent and Queen Anne's Counties
Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a method of locating objects on the ground using aerial-borne equipment. It is similar to RADAR or SONAR in that the two-way travel time of an energy beam reflected off an object is precisely measured, but this technology uses laser light instead of radio or sound waves. This technology has proven very useful in remote sensing of the earth. It can be used for determining elevations of both the earth’s surface and items (natural and man-made) on the surface. Analysis of LiDAR data is used in detailed modeling of the earth’s surface for drainage and floodplain studies, determining how a new structure will affect views from various locations, shoreline erosion studies, and other reasons. The bare earth mass points data show the calculated elevation of the earth’s surface (the ground, without objects such as trees or buildings). Mass points may appear to have "holes" with no elevation values in areas where the surface could not be determined, such as very dense forests or urban areas.