LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is an active remote sensing technology used to map the earth's surface.

Laser range observations between a moving vehicle and the earth's surface are combined with Inertial Navigation Sensors (GPS). The observations and Inertial Measure Unit (IMUs) combined generate a dense volume of data points known as a point cloud. Each data point represents a position in space relative to the surface of the earth. LiDAR point cloud data provides accurate 3D data for various mapping products, including:

  • Digital Elevation Models (DEM)
  • Forest inventory analysis and maps
  • Floodplain analysis and maps
  • Infrastructure analysis and maps
  • Transportation analysis and maps  
  • Many other applications

Over the past several years, the Province of British Columbia has made significant investments in LiDAR and has now released provincial LiDAR collections under the Open Government License – British Columbia making it freely available for anyone to download and use. This LiDAR data includes LAZ point cloud data and various LiDAR-derived products.

Learn more about LiDAR or to discover and download LiDAR data, visit the LiDAR data portal.