LiDAR is an acronym for Light Detection And Ranging or Laser Imaging, Detection And Ranging. It is a remote sensing technology and is a way for determining ranges (variable distance) by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. LiDAR technology uses the pulse from a laser to collect measurements.
The measurements are used to create 3D models and maps of objects and environments. LiDAR can also be used to make digital 3-D representations of areas on the earth's surface and ocean bottom due to differences in laser return times and by varying laser wavelengths.
LiDAR has terrestrial, airborne, and mobile uses. Though commonly used in autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles, it also has emerging applications in environmental mapping for archeological and conservation purposes through the use of drones. Further, applications in mobile devices or wearables could support people living with disabilities.