As the second map above shows, when using lidar, we are able to see the areas of New Orleans that were most affected by Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding. The technology first gathers the data that shows the elevation of New Orleans above sea level, as shown in the first map. It was then assumed that level of Lake Pontchartrain and the level of flooding water were the same, by using a gauge from the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. After concluding that these levels were the same, the cartographers were able to create a map that showed the levels of flooding based on the elevation of the land, and the level of the water above that elevation.
In conclusion, the use of lidar mapping technology allowed for the topographic mapping of flooded areas of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. In addition to helping first responders in their attempts to rid the city of water, this map also helps researchers find the points most impacted by the storm. This map also allows for future safety when understanding floods, and how to remove the water safely from urban areas. Through the use of high-resolution elevation mapping, researchers and scientists are able to protect areas from flooding based on previous patterns of storms and their impact.
Gesch, D. (n.d.). Science and the Storms: the USGS Response to the Hurricanes of 2005 (pp. 53-56, Rep.).Topography-based Analysis of Hurricane Katrina Inundation of New Orleans