The scan is taken using Lidar laser technology from a small plane sweeping over the city. The scan is intended to detect the presence of existing wetlands and the number of roofs suitable for solar power. The final result? A "solar map" that developers and building owners can consult to determine whether solar panels make sense for them.
Mireya Navarro writes, "Cities like San Francisco have already developed solar maps, and the new Lidar technology is increasingly being adopted by coastal regions around the nation, FEMA officials said. The laser system captures images of surface terrain and structures by shooting out laser pulses from an aircraft and measuring the time it take the pulses to bounce back, producing representations of what it hits."