A new technology is being deployed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists this weekend to map urban flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac. Called “terrestrial lidar,” or “T-lidar”, this new capability will enable scientists to collect highly detailed information in select population areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama where the hurricane had the greatest impact.
The portable instrument allows scientists to quickly generate 3-D maps of buildings, dams, levees and other structures, and can show areas of storm damage as well. In a four-to-five minute scan, the instrument collects millions of topographic data points in a full 360-degree view to quickly produce highly accurate topographic information and can map areas up to two-thirds of a mile away. (more…)