What is LiDAR?
LiDAR measures distances by sending pulses of laser light
that strike and reflect form the surfaces of the earth. The measured times are converted to distance.
LiDAR generates very large datasets- it is not uncommon for the system to collect 50-100 thousand positions (or more) per second. The data can be post-processed to provide highly accurate and detailed DEMs, topographic maps, vegetation heights, and more.
Though LiDAR is a new technology, its application to resource management issues is well established. As LiDAR systems and the associated technologies improve and become more user-friendly, the applications of LiDAR will undoubtedly increase.
Local LiDAR Projects
Teton Conservation District has collaborated with several
agencies and organizations to acquire LiDAR data in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Past projects include partnering with the
Army Corps of Engineers and United States Geological Survey to map part of the
Snake River corridor, in 2007. This provided information including wildlife
habitat and hydrological data. We
produced high accuracy bare-earth processed, 1 foot generated contours, for
approximately 27 square miles. Project
components included acquisition, post-processing, classification of LiDAR data,
and contour generation.
Project work for 2008 included collection of LiDAR data and orthophotos west of the Snake River. The project area was 140 square miles. Raw data will be processed to collect information on WUI fuel levels, avalanche terrain information, vegetation data and floodplain mapping data.
Future projects are being considered in order to benefit the people and natural resources of the Teton County, WY, area.
Click here for an overview of LiDAR, produced by the Forest Service.
Project data, from several Teton County LiDAR projects, can be accessed through the San Diego Supercomputer Center.