Lidar (light detecting and ranging) is a landscape reading tool that I use whenever the imagery is available. I have frequently posted lidar derived imagery. The ability to have bare earth imagery with accurate elevation has been a huge change for geologists. But the non bare earth imagery is also a powerful tool.
Lidar image showing electric high voltage power lines, forest, pastures and homes
The image above has not gone through the computer program that removes the trees and thus does not show the underlying bare earth features very well. But in this case I wanted to see the areas of forest cover; Where are there big trees? I was able to compare this 2013 lidar image with Google Earth images to assess if the a stand of large trees was still present. At issue was the role large trees play in intercepting and partially routing debris floods and debris flows on alluvial fans. Having the imagery of where large tree stands were located versus just brush helped my analyses.