Aerial LiDAR

Aerial LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is an aerial mapping technology which uses reflected laser returns---from the earth’s surface to an aircraft with on-board GPS and IMU sensors---in order to determine the precise elevation and geospatial location of terrestrial objects and features. With innovations such as multiple intensity returns and increased pulse repetition rates, LiDAR is an accurate and effective method for creating three-dimensional topographical aerial maps and highly accurate surveys of both surface terrain elements and manmade structures. Click here for diagrams showing more detail on LiDAR operating principles.

Aerial LiDAR is used in a variety of industries, including geography, forestry, oceanography, and emergency management. Sanborn provides LiDAR data that is in full compliance with USGS NGP Base LiDAR Specification Version 13 – ILMF 2010. Options are provided for varying densities, from 1.4m (standard density) to 0.7m (high density) Nominal Point Spacing (NPS).

LiDAR Applications

Advances in and better understanding of LiDAR technology have greatly improved the usefulness of Aerial LiDAR as a valuable aerial mapping tool. Applications include:

  • 3-D modeling
  • Floodplain mapping and planning
  • Disaster management
  • Coastal erosion
  • Airport mapping / aviation safety
  • Forestry
  • Nautical charting
  • Land use mapping and planning
  • Volumetric studies
  • Electrical utilities / transmission line corridor mapping

In addition to aerial LiDAR, Sanborn offers both Mobile and Terrestrial LiDAR products and services---click for more information about Sanborn Mobile LiDAR, or for more information about Sanborn Terrestrial LiDAR.

  • Order acceptance subject to Sanborn approval
  • Price catalog is subject to change
  • Product is available in the lower 48 United States
  • Product is warranted for 90 days as defined in the End User License Agreement
  • High volume orders subject to custom scheduling.

  • Firm delivery schedule to be defined at time of order (data can be delivered within nine-weeks for a project area of approximately 500-600 square miles)
  • Standard coordinates, projections, and datums
  • Delivered in ASCII or LAS format.

Sanborn LiDAR products are furnished as bare-earth DEMs (Digital Elevation Model) and can be optionally upgraded to a DTM (Digital Terrain Model) and/or contour product.


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