Sunday, May 16, 2010

3D Laser Map of New York

In search for maximum efficiency and in order to better understand which areas will be prone to flooding, the city of New York used a plane with a LIDAR system (think of a much more accurate kind of radar using lasers) to create the most accurate representation of New York in 3D.

Thanks to this detailed model, the city can now accurately identify the best rooftops suitable for solar panel installations, as well as many other uses for environment and security .

... but don't think lasers awesomeness or strictly earth bound. Check NASA's LISA project, which aims to put three spacecrafts in space, 5 million kilometers apart of each other, and shooting lasers back and forth, allowing it to detect gravitational waves - something predicted by Einstein's Relativity Theory, but which has proved difficult to observe and measure in the real world.

via [Gizmodo, NYT]

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