How Does LIDAR Work?

LIDAR technology has been helping multiple industries for years now. This technology is essential for gathering topographical data and getting the lay of the land in a very literal sense. But how do LIDAR services actually work? Let’s take a look at this technology and how it functions.

LIDAR stands for light detection and ranging. This technology utilizes lasers to take specific measurements for the elevation of things like earth, forests, and even buildings.

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It’s fairly similar to SONAR, which utilizes sound to map surroundings, and RADAR, which uses radio waves to map surroundings. The biggest difference is that LIDAR is using light in the form of lasers to map certain areas out.

There are three primary ways to collect LIDAR data: by ground, by air, and by satellite. The most common method to collect LIDAR data is actually via plane. This is known as airborne LIDAR, and it’s typically used to map out expansive wooded areas where it’s tough to see the ground.

Airborne LIDAR can also be used at a smaller scale. Construction companies and land surveyors will typically use a drone to collect data for a specific site. This method is used to survey land for buildings, farms, and other structures.


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