What Can LiDAR Data Be Used For?

The rapid advancement of drone technology along with its accessibility to the private sector means that more people are relying on drone services to get the data they need, specifically LiDAR data collection is growing in popularity over other methods of data collection. We’re exploring the uses for LiDAR data and how it can improve results for numerous industries including construction, mining, and even archaeology.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, is a remote sensing method that measures distances. A drone equipped with a laser emits a rapidly pulsing beam while a scanner records the time it takes for the light to hit the surface (such as the ground, a tree branch, or building) and bounce back, and each laser pulse creates a coordinate on the x, y, and z-axis. The flight path overlaps to capture comprehensive data points, which is combined with GPS information to create a three-dimensional dataset called a point cloud.

6 Uses for LiDAR Data

Once the data is collected and processed into a point cloud, it can be used in a variety of ways.

Land Surveying

Land surveying is generally the most commonly known use for LiDAR data because it’s much faster than traditional surveying methods. Our teams can cover up to 700 acres per day, depending on the conditions.

After the data is collected, the point cloud can be converted into a digital elevation model and analyzed thoroughly or used to create contour files and other tools and resources.

Civil Infrastructure and Construction

Knowing the terrain elevations is necessary during large infrastructure projects, including building roads and bridges. Because LiDAR data provides x, y, and z coordinates, it can be used to produce accurate, detailed three dimensional elevation maps that help with the planning of the project.


LiDAR data is used on farms in multiple ways, including:
Determining the slope of the land to avoid erosion and seeds washing away in rain;
Digital soil mapping using geospatial measurement data to get a better analysis of soil quality;
Determining seed dispersion;
Forecasting crop yields and planning crop planting;

Archaeological Digs

When an area is difficult to access or has heavy vegetation, LiDAR provides a solution to getting valuable data. Not only can the lasers and scanners improve mapping clarity in dense overgrowth, it can also be used to locate ancient features. Recently LiDAR data allowed an archaeology team in Belize to discover areas of roads, bridges, and buildings dating back to the Mayan civilization.


Mining companies are now relying on LiDAR to improve operations and reduce risk. Similar to the agricultural industry LiDAR data captures the geospatial data of the surface, but like archaeology, it can also provide valuable detail about what’s going on underground. Geospatial data can show the mineral makeup of the mine, the stability and infrastructure, and also make it possible to calculate production estimates.

Schedule a Free Consultation for LiDAR and Drone Services

FlyGuys has a national network of licensed and insured drone pilots as well as a team of experienced project managers working together to provide comprehensive data at competitive rates and with a rapid turnaround time. To learn more about our LiDAR and other drone services as well as receive a free quote, reach out to us today at 1 (888) 837-0940 or fill out the form below to get started.

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Please note that we are currently unable to assist in the search for missing pets. This limitation is due to the specific challenges and regulations associated with using drones for such purposes.