Flood mapping has long been the number one use of LiDAR throughout the world. Areas of high risk, such as The Red River Basin in the Dakotas and Southern Manitoba, US Gulf States and many coastal regions have been using LiDAR for modeling risk and contingency planning since its inception in the mid 1990’s. LiDAR has the ability to acquire large flood areas, at high density within days. In emergency situations, the data can be processed and delivered within days.
LiDAR has seen its uses for environmental impact studies rise dramatically in recent years. The affects of broken dikes, pipeline blow outs, spill management etc. have led to using LiDAR DEM’s for calculating slope, view shed analysis, water and wind flows to determine affects on communities and stakeholders in the event of catastrophe.