LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. It is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges to the Earth. The technology is used to map the land and is used to measure seafloor and riverbed elevations. Two types of LIDAR are topographic and bathymetric. Topographic LIDAR typically uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric lidar uses water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.
LIDAR systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility.