LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique for measuring distances using a high intensity laser. This laser pulses between the LiDAR device and the surface you are measuring, creating a dense and highly accurate measurement of the surface you are measuring. LiDAR systems are typically deployed using an aircraft.
LiDAR scanners take x, y, z measurements of a surface,, and once they are combined with positioning information from the GPS device, this data can produce highly accurate measurements of 3D surfaces.
After the data is processed and georefrenced with the positioning data, the resulting data is referred to as a ‘point cloud’. Point clouds are stored in a file structure know as las or .las (and .laz when compressed).