Point of Beginning

Mapping Ancient Civilization, in a Matter of Days

May 12, 2010

nytimes.com: When the husband-and-wife team of Arlen F. Chase and Diane Z. Chase set out to map ancient Caracol, in Belize, one of the great cities of the Maya lowlands, they opted to use LiDAR. In only four days, a twin-engine aircraft equipped with an advanced version of LiDAR flew back and forth over the jungle and collected data surpassing the results of two and a half decades of on-the-ground mapping, the archaeologists said. After three weeks of laboratory processing, the almost 10 hours of laser measurements showed topographic detail over an area of 80 square miles, notably settlement patterns of grand architecture and modest house mounds, roadways and agricultural terraces.

To read the full story, go here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/11/science/11maya.html