10 Feb '12, 1am

Lasers Used to Generate Remarkably Detailed 3D Map of the Amazon

Lasers Used to Generate Remarkably Detailed 3D Map of the Amazon

© Carnegie Institution for Science The Amazon rainforest remains one of the few places on Earth that's largely still shrouded in mystery, home to countless plant and animal species yet unknown to science -- but thanks to remarkable new laser imaging technology, our view of the region just got a whole lot clearer. Armed with new technology called Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar), the team of scientists lead by Greg Asner from the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University laser-scanned the forest cover at the rate of 139 square miles per hour. The resulting images -- seen in these remarkably clear, three-dimensional maps of the Peruvian Amazon -- are quite possibly the most detailed look at the world's largest rainforest ever unveiled. Collecting such a comprehensive view of the Amazon, however, is not merely for novelty. The colorful visualization was rende...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/laser-used-mak...

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