What are the common applications of LiDAR technology?

Laser light detection and ranging (LiDAR) devices first light up the target with a laser and then measure the light that comes back from the target. The laser pulses hit the thing at the speed of light and bounced back to the sensors.

The time it takes for the pulses to go to the object and back to the sensor is used to figure out how far away the object is. LiDAR technology is used in many different fields and industries. Here are some of the many ways that LiDAR could be used.


This is called a “Digital Elevation Model,” or DEM for short. It is the method that construction companies and others use to get accurate ground-level estimates. With the help of LiDAR technology, measuring and keeping track of vertical distances has become much easier.

Compared to traditional survey methods, using LiDAR to measure these heights is easy but also quick and cheap.

Precision Forestry

LiDAR data is especially useful for precision forestry, which gives researchers enough information to build structures that guarantee a high amount of high-quality wood at a low cost. Another benefit is that the natural environment might be kept in good shape.

Flood Model Conceptual

People know that LiDAR sensors can collect personal information about the river. For example, find out what the river bank is made of and where it is. It is then used to determine if flooding is likely and, if so, what steps should be taken to prevent it.

Pollution Analysis

The value of the data collected by LiDAR goes up because it can tell the difference between pollutant and non-pollutant levels in rivers and on land. So, since LiDAR can find impurities like sulfur, it could help keep the ecosystem healthy and keep water and land from getting contaminated.

Coastal Zone Management

Geologists and researchers use LiDAR to make detailed maps of coastlines and find out exactly what kind of rocks they are made of. So, coastal managers now know more about the species that live there and how changes in the size of the shoreline affect the local ecosystem.


Because LiDAR technology is so accurate, it can be used to collect accurate data about the landscape. However, compared to LiDAR, other methods, such as photogrammetry, may lose important details, such as the surface value of the buried plants.

Forest Fire Prevention

LiDAR technology makes it much easier to predict possible forest fires. The information gathered could be used to devise ways to put out fires. Also, this method is perfect for finding places where forest fires are likely to start and building infrastructure to keep the fires out for good.

Accident Recreation

Using LiDAR technology, the scene of an accident can be copied and carefully studied. Using LiDAR to get exact measurements of the vehicles and routes, professionals can figure out what caused an accident by looking at the data collected at the scene.

Cellular Networks

In the telecoms industry, LiDAR technology is used for many different things.

One of them is mapping cellular signal boosters. For example, it can be used to find out how far away two communication boosters are from each other and where each booster is in a certain place. If you know this, you can better place boosters to improve the cellular network.


LiDAR is used by the weather service to predict future weather patterns and the climate of an area. Meteorologists collect and study data to make accurate predictions about the weather and environment in the future.

Atmosphere Study

LiDAR technology can now explain parts of the atmosphere that couldn’t be explained before. With LiDAR pulses, data like the composition of gasses and other atmosphere parts can be calculated very accurately.

So, for example, scientists and physicists can tell the difference between gasses and pollutants in the air.

Speed Guns

Law enforcement is one of the most common ways that LiDAR is used.

LiDAR is used by the police and other law enforcement agencies to determine how fast a car is going and if the driver is over the speed limit. The speed guns use laser pulses to figure out how fast a car is going by timing how long it takes for the pulses to bounce back off the car’s surface.

City Mapping

Using LiDAR, cities can be mapped and scanned. For example, we could use this technology to fully map an area and find its features. Then, the information can be used to plan the area and determine where to put all the necessary fixtures.


These are just a few ways LiDAR technology could be used. As this technology improves, it will be used in new and interesting ways. LiDAR seems to be useful in a lot of different ways as technology progresses. It will be interesting to see what other applications this can be used in.