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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

A Lost City and LiDAR

A Lost City and LiDAR

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, January 6, 2017/Categories: natural history, video, art and design, environment, adventure

     LiDAR Scanning and Mapping Technology (credit: University of California)

Finding a lost building is one thing but discovering an entire city in the 21st Century is quite another.

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology is a remote sensing tool that can peer through vegetation and water allowing images to be generated exposing all that lies beneath. The methodology, pioneered by NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and others for natural resource and geoscience mapping, is now upending traditional archaeological surveys.

Using an airplane outfitted with a LiDAR scanner, researchers flew over a series of untouched mountain valleys and discovered an ancient city buried under the dense rainforest canopy. Their discovery is part Indiana Jones but working with 21st Century digital media. The long-rumored City of the Monkey God (la Ciudad Blanca) was in northern Honduras. The first ground surveys of the legendary city, which appears to have lain untouched since its inhabitants vanished in the mid-1500's, was covered in a brief article and video in the New Yorker Magazine. The catastrophic truth for the peoples disappearance is as fascinating and disturbing as the  discovery of their city.






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