Stands for: Light Detection and Ranging. It’s a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics. LIDAR is used to generate geospatial products, such as canopy models, digital elevation models, building models, and contours.   NOAA 2016.