3-D LIDAR Scan - Interstate-510 bridge in New Orleans, LA, Friday, Aug. 31, 2012 (USGS)
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According to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Newsroom release of September 1, 2012, USGS scientist have been experimenting with both airborne and terrestrial LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) in select areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to document the extent of urban flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac. Given the ability of LIDAR to collect millions of highly accurate 3-D data points in a very brief time span, the approach potentially holds value for a wide range of flooding related uses such as near real time determination of flood extent, post event damage assessment, and future mitigation planning. To learn more use the link below:
Comment: This is a fabulous development and shows a way to the future. Indeed, let's hope someday there will be LIDAR collects performed as a matter of routine every time it is thought a disaster will be serious enough to require FEMA involvement.