A new crowdfunding effort has been launched on Kickstarter with the purpose of LiDAR scanning the entire planet, starting with vulnerable areas, such as the Amazon. The Earth Archive project says they could use this data to:
“We could map trees and document their size, height, width — maybe even their species — and calculate how much carbon they contain.
We’d discover where water moves through the landscape.
We’d learn about the rich history and prehistory of this region, find unknown archaeological sites, ancient road networks, and ecological treasures.”
They also state that “In just 45 minutes, the LIDAR scan collected the same amount of data as what would’ve taken decades by hand!”
The crowdfunding can be visited here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eartharchive/lets-scan-the-amazon-before-its-too-late?ref=creator_nav
Chris Fischer has also produced a TED Talk on the topic: