Welcome to LIDAR Forest

Welcome to LIDAR Forest. This online workshop aims to share some of the fascinating aspects of optical physics, and how this exciting branch of science is helping people to see the world in new ways. Created by artist Johnathan Elders in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University, Centre for Interaction Design. Supported by the Institute of Physics, Scotland and Edinburgh Remakery.

LIDAR is a technique for scanning environments using lasers and can be used to create 3D models of rainforests, including every single branch! In this workshop we look at some basic demonstrations of how light interacts with the environment, including refraction and diffraction. We’ll then see how we apply this science through LIDAR to measure trees and show how you can work out how much carbon is captured by trees yourself.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a scientific background or fancy apparatus, the experiments we invite you to try don’t require much more than a glass of water, something to write with and a calculator (or phone with a calculator app).

Refraction & Reversing Arrows

Light bending experiment, Institute of Physics

Light Waves

Diffraction experiment, Institute of Physics

Light Detecting & Ranging (LIDAR)

Using LIDAR to 3D model rainforests, CREDIT

LIDAR Research in Gabon

Modelling tree size to monitor logging & protect rainforest habitat, University of Edinburgh