All of England to be Mapped with Lidar

England’s entire landscape will be mapped with lasers to tackle flooding, help conservation work and even track illegal waste dumps, the Environment Agency said.

Under plans unveiled by the government agency, aircraft equipped with laser scanners will map all 130,000 square kilometres (50,000 square miles) of the country in 3D, including rivers, fields and national parks, by 2020.

The data gathered will be used to understand flooding risk and plan flood defences, and will also be made available for free for the public and industry including archaeologists, urban planners and even gamers.

Around 75% of the country is already mapped, but there is only sporadic coverage of upland areas and the new project, beginning over winter, will fill in the gaps.

The new data will be better quality than ever before, the Environment Agency said, with the whole country mapped at a one metre resolution using the most up-to-date laser technology to reveal the terrain more clearly.

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