8 Awesome Uses Of LIDAR Technology We Never Knew Of

Hey there, Remotasker! If you’re already working with us in Remotasks, chances are you’ve probably heard of how challenging our 3D Tasks or LiDAR tasks could get. In fact, you might’ve encountered some difficulties just trying to understand “the point” of why we do this rather complicated task category. However, aside from the decent pay, our LiDAR tasks actually help startups and tech companies create extremely useful technologies! Curious? Read on to find out awesome uses of LiDAR technology you’d never know of until now!

Quick Recap: What Exactly Is LIDAR?

To give us a quick crash course, LIDAR means Light Detection and Ranging. It’s a form of remote sensing technology that utilizes a pulsed laser to measure various distances via light waves. Whereas RADAR uses soundwaves, LIDAR makes use of light pulses to create an accurate 3D representation of an object and everything around it. 

In terms of specifics, LIDAR can help “create” 3D images by measuring the time it takes for light to travel from the LIDAR device to an object and the things around it. With this time data, programs can help generate waveform patterns that can then become elevation, therefore becoming 3D images. 

Where Do We Use LIDAR?

Interestingly, the mere fact that LIDAR can help create various 3D images has a lot of implications to various industries. With the right combination of tools and programs, LIDAR can help a ton of industries accomplish many things - from observation to things such as data analysis and even making inferences to help various tools and applications. Here are some awesome uses of LIDAR other people might not realize:

  • Did you know there’s a plan to scan the entire planet? That’s right, in the field of archeology, scientists plan to use LIDAR to scan the entire planet Earth to help with preserving information about the surface before climate change drastically changes life on Earth as we know it. Colorado State University’s Steve Leisz and Chris Fisher want to use aircraft-mounted LIDAR to map the entire planet’s surface to help climate scientists study the Earth in greater detail. Hopefully, this not only could help map the ocean surface but also access mountains and forests across the planet without having to actually manually visit them. 
  • Did you know LIDAR helps with emergency response? Thanks to the way LIDAR can help construct 3D images of environments, rescuers can actually use this technology with regards to emergency response. In disasters and dire situations, LIDAR mounted on airplanes can help locate survivors or other relevant pieces of data that could help rescuers reach hard-to-access areas much easier and without spending too much time just analyzing information. This can help increase the time it takes for responders to save people trapped in buildings or even help responders reach people in risky situations such as in floods. 
  • Did you know LIDAR can improve disaster risk assessment? Aside from emergency responses, LIDAR can potentially help with regards to disaster risk assessment with the right location and the right use. According to the UN Environment DHI Centre, airplanes mounted with LIDAR can get to at-risk places such as river basins and other locations to project light pulses onto land from the sky. This data can help use precise surface models that could be used with other programs to visual events and certain movements. This kind of application can help with environmental planning and management purposes, such as for pollution modeling and forest management. 
  • Did you know climate scientists can use LIDAR to scan atmospheric gases? Interestingly, LIDAR isn’t just useful to measure things happening on the surface. Thanks to new tech called differential absorption LIDAR, the team of Andreas Fix from the German Aerospace Center have developed a means to measure the vertical structure of gases such as ozone and water vapor. Theoretically, their technology can be used to monitor various atmospheric gases from as far as outer space and be able to infer important information during the exchange of these gases. 
  • Did you know LIDAR can help make improvements in renewable energy? Thanks to LIDAR, it can help measure various aspects of the atmosphere essential in renewable energy. For instance, households and companies can rely on LIDAR to calculate optimal positioning for solar panels to maximize their sunlight capturing ability. Likewise, wind farms can use LIDAR to precisely accurate wind speed and wind direction for their turbine placement. 
  • Did you know we plan on mapping the Moon and Mars with LIDAR? As early as 2011, NASA already made plans of using LIDAR to scan the Earth and various extraterrestrial objects for various benefits. Aside from mapping the Earth for climate change, NASA actually used LIDAR to map extraterrestrial objects. For instance, NASA scientists plan on equipping future probes with specialized LIDAR technology to be able to scan extraterrestrial bodies and send information about their surfaces and other properties back on Earth for analysis. With this, astronomers can make more accurate inferences on the potential of these extraterrestrial bodies to be of use to people on Earth
  • Did you know LIDAR can help manage traffic? In Remotasks, 3D Taskers help companies improve their self-driving cars by identifying various elements around them. With the same principle, engineers can use LIDAR to quickly analyze various vehicles on the road to be able to come up with traffic patterns that can help with traffic management in the future. With LIDAR, cameras can easily detect cars and other objects as well as label and track them almost immediately. Thanks to this data, engineers can help make better road designs and even adjust traffic layouts to avoid accidents. 
  • Did you know video games can use LIDAR to make more realistic environments? Fans of video games today know that the rise of virtual reality and improving graphics have increased the demand for more immersive experiences. Thanks to LIDAR, developers and publishers have a means of making more realistic and believable settings. With LIDAR, game devs can start scanning various objects and even entire locations to be able to create extremely accurate and realistic 3D representations that could become embedded in future video games. In terms of VR gaming, LIDAR could help create extremely realistic settings that could be mistaken for real life. Meanwhile, future AAA games can take place in “copies” of real world cities. 

LiDAR Today: Bigger Than What We Think!

With the above fun facts in mind, it’s important to remember that despite the rather challenging nature of LiDAR Tasks, they’re extremely relevant to some of the world’s most developing technologies. If you’re interested to know just how you can help startups and other companies jumpstart this process, then you might want to join our team in Remotasks! Our challenging LiDAR projects can help give contributions to these rising technologies - and our LiDAR tasks pay great, too!

If you’re looking for a great remote working gig, then you might want to give Remotasks a shot! Our registration is completely free, and we provide training materials free of charge. As a plus, you can join hundreds of other Remotaskers in our Online Bootcamp sessions where we teach some of our most complex tasks live!

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