11 May 2010
It was only a matter of time before LIDAR, the optical remote sensing technology that measures properties of scattered light to find range and/or other information of a distant target, would change the face of archeology. You may recall our coverage of NAVTEQ back in January when it announced that it has begun collecting data to construct detailed 3D models and maps of the United States. 3D models and maps…hmmm…what is the perfect application for this? Yes, archeology. The New York Times just ran a story about the use of LIDAR in the help develop 3D images of Caracol (pictured), in Belize, one of the great cities of the Maya lowlands. In only four days, a twin-engine aircraft equipped with an advanced version of LIDAR flew back and forth over the jungle and collected data surpassing the results of two and a half decades of on-the-ground mapping. According to Dr. Diane Chase, one of the archeologists, “We believe that LIDAR will help transform Maya archaeology much in the same way that radiocarbon dating did in the 1950s and interpretations of Maya hieroglyphs did in the 1980s and ’90s.” That’s right. LIDAR rules.
Tags: 3D models of Mayan City, Caracol, GEOINT and LIDAR, GIS, got geoint?, Imagery and Mapping, LIDAR, LIDAR and Mayan Archeology, Light Detection and Ranging, NAVTEQ, United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, USGIF