LiDAR (or LIDAR) – light detection and ranging – is a method to generate very precise topographical measurements about a particular piece of land.  Achieving up to 2″ (5.08 cm) differences in topography, LiDAR is an exceptionally useful tool for imaging the various layers of a landscape.

The video below, produced by the University of Southampton, is an example of the application of LiDAR to the lost Roman port of Portus, outside of Rome, Italy.  LiDAR provides archaeologists and landscape architects with an invaluable tool for identifying the remains of historic structures and landscape forms.



For other resources see:

NOAA. 2020.  What is LIDAR? National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.  Accessed March 18, 2020,, archived at

USGS.  n.d.  What is Lidar and where can I download it?  USGS.  Accessed March 18, 2020,, archived at