Your memories cannot come to terms with the lidar surveying in Florida you have been seeing. A surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light lidar technology measures the reflected pulses with a sensor. By interpreting the difference in laser wavelengths and return times, this process can be used to make digital 3-D representations of the target. In the case of lidar surveying in Florida, for instance, you have seen what appear to be foreign images of a place where you have vacationed often. You have enjoyed times at the beach, long days with your family, and engaging sunsets that lead you to believe that these were the best days of your life.
Although these images serve to help you remember the places you have vacationed in the past, the real intent is to evaluate the remaining roadway designs and transportation infrastructure.
Following another round of floods and damaging winds caused by a raging hurricane, city planners are using every technology available to evaluate the current damage and plan for the future. In fact, with the latest aerial lidar and digital imaging services, engineers are often able to make assessments and new plans sooner than at any other time in the history of this country. At a time when many predict that we are entering a time when there will be an increased number of major weather events it should come as no surprise that the technology provided by lidar surveying and photogrammetry will be even more important.
Lidar Technology Offers Evaluation of Current Transportation Infrastructures
Consider some of these statistics about the many ways that lidar technology can help America improve the problems of transportation and city planning:
- Every major U.S. container port is projected to be handling at least double the volume it was designed for by the year 2020.
- 50% of America’s interstate miles are at 70% of traffic capacity, and nearly 25% of the miles are strained at more than 95% capacity.
- Drinking water utilities will have to invest $334.8 billion over the next 20 years to address their deteriorating infrastructure needs, according to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- 33% of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
- 4,095 American dams were deemed unsafe by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
- 25% of U.S. bridges need significant repairs or are handling more traffic than they were designed to carry.
From the lidar surveying in Florida after a recent hurricane to the planning for new roads in areas that have never been developed, there are many ways that these technologies can help create better spaces for the future.