NCALM - University of Houston
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Charting the Future.

Pioneering the use of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) — a surveying method which deploys thousands of laser pulses per second to produce richly detailed, three-dimensional topographical maps — researchers at NCALM have found a previously unknown ancient settlement in Central America, measured the impact of a warming climate in Antarctica and searched for crumbling levies, eroding coastal areas and other evidence of the environmental impacts of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.



Provide research-quality airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) observations to the scientific community.

Advance the state of the art in airborne laser mapping.

Offer the only graduate program in the world for Geosensing Systems Engineering and Sciences (GSES) to give scientists LiDAR training to tackle industry challenges.


The Lost City of Ciudad Blanca

NCALM might be best known for its work in some of the most remote corners of the world. In Honduras, researchers used airbone LiDAR to map a remote region of the rainforest in 2012 and uncovered new evidence of a lost ancient civilization. Their findings were verified when NCALM researcher Juan Carlos Fernandez Diaz returned to the site on foot, accompanied by Honduran and American archeologists, a documentary film crew and a reporter from National Geographic.