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USGS launches a billion-dollar initiative to map the West in 3-D

from High Country News

LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, uses lasers to create intricate three-dimensional maps in places where bad weather or thick vegetation hampered traditional aerial mapping. Though the technology itself isn't new, it's about to become more widespread: The 3-D Elevation Program, a billion-dollar initiative launched this summer by the U.S. Geological Survey and numerous partners, seeks to remap the country using LIDAR — and make the maps public. more


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