Makai Ocean Engineering has just released Makai Voyager™, an advanced 3D/4D visualization platform that allows you to fly anwhere in the world to view geospatial data, including: terrain imagery, elevation, LIDAR, volumetric and flow data, and more.
Makai is not your traditional desktop GIS software. The software includes rich support for time-varying and complex 3D geospatial data. Voyager was developed specifically to visualize and analyze large environmental simulations in a georeferenced setting.
One of the most groundbreaking features Makai brings is it’s LIDAR functionality. LIDAR is an increasingly popular optical remote sensing technology that can map out the surface of a target by illuminating it with light. These light points can be aggregated into large datasets that define the shapes of buildings, objects and terrain, and can be geo-referenced to their appropriate location above the earth.
In my opinion this is the future of site analysis and the ability to calculate vegetation cover, hardscape, development, and other changes over time using LIDAR data will allow for more precise data targeting where sustainable practices need to be implemented.