LiDAR Mapping Technology


Vertical Mapping Resources uses proven commercial sensors to satisfy our client’s data collection needs. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is an optical remote sensing technology that measures properties of scattered light to find range and/or other information of a distant target.

Similar to radar technology, which uses radio waves instead of light, the range to an object is determined by measuring the time delay between transmission of a pulse and detection of the reflected signal.

A typical LiDAR system quickly transmits pulses of light that reflect off the terrain and other height objects. The return pulse is converted from photons to electrical impulses and collected by a high-speed data recorder. Since the formula for the speed of light is well known, time intervals from transmission to collection are easily derived. Time intervals are then converted to distance based on positional information obtained from ground/aircraft GPS receivers and the on-board Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that constantly records the attitude (pitch, roll, and heading) of the aircraft.

LiDAR systems collect positional (X,Y) and elevation (Z) data at pre-defined intervals. The resulting LiDAR data is a very dense network of elevation postings. The accuracy of LiDAR data is a function of flying height, laser beam diameter (system dependent), the quality of the GPS/IMU data, and post-processing procedures.

LiDAR Services:

  • Digital Elevation Models (DEM)
  • First Return Canopy Data
  • Bare Earth Data
  • Transmission Lines/Corridors
  • Volume Calculations
  • Coastal Applications