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evictee

Has Your House Been Lasered?

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A few weeks ago the Environment Agency released 17 years worth of LIDAR data under an Open Government Licence. This is elevation data they've collected by flying over the country shooting laser beams all over the place and timing how long each pulse takes to return at its mere speed of light. Unbelievable stuff really.

Anyway, as an existing user of the Land Registry's open data, I thought I'd take a look at it. I tried rendering some of it as a relief map and found it pretty interesting so I ended up making this map of the country from it:

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map

I don't know what it's got to do with the price of houses/fish, but thought some of you might like a look anyway, see if you can find your house maybe, although you might need to be pretty handy with your geography.

Actually I've found the countryside more interesting than the towns. I've stumbled across a few otherwise hidden features which have turned out to be known archaeological sites, and maybe even some that are not yet known.

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It's pretty good but they missed out all the dark blue bits - or maybe they're entirely flat. Is the UK turning into the Netherlands.

The form for you to give permission for your home being lasered must in the post along with the cheque.

Isn't publishing it a threat to national security or are they hoping to make money from it eventually.

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Wow, that is impressive work, well done. And very interesting.

I found my car.

Was it on the other end of that key?

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unbelievable all that technology and they couldn`t find Wales or Scotland

Different land registries. Same reason as they didn't cover Norway.

Vive la difference or whatever.

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What to do with it?

Make a mould using a 3D printer, automated by a website and electronic payment. People click on a 25m square area, and a piece is sent gift wrapped to the customer with a certificate.

Sit back and collect the profits?

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Have you looked at the Ordnance Surveys open data? They also send it to you on DVDs free of charge. I got all of it about 30 dvds full of different data etc.

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I looked at the house of a known criminal who used to live near me and we saw burying something large in his garden one night. I can see a round shape!

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Found it after some trekking up the M1! Seems the lasering around the area isn't that up to date though, plenty been built on a nearby business park since. Good effort anyhows.

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The blue gaps are sometimes water but mostly just areas they haven't scanned yet, or at least not in the 1 meter resolution data I've used. They seem to have concentrated their efforts on coast, rivers and floodplains, which is not surprising I suppose.

No Wales I'm afraid. Devolved away. Natural Resources Wales are planning to release their data next month however, so hopefully I'll be able to add that soon after, if it's in the same format. No idea what the Scots are planning.

I don't know about satellite SAR data, I can't find any examples of a comparable resolution online, although I don't suppose the best stuff if going to become open data any time soon.

Strange shapes in the water are generally the result of compositing scans taken at different tide times, although I'm a bit confused about how they end up with crater shapes.

No, I don't suppose Google will be too worried about the competition, but then again you can't see this medieval field system or this Roman fort using Google Maps.

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Lidar does not work well over water - it's not a great reflector so you get voids in the datacloud, or you just don't process these areas with the same effort that you do for the bit that you are interested in.

The other beauty of Lidar is that you "see" through the vegetation cover and produce a terrain model of the actual ground, even if it is heavily forested.

At the moment satellite imagery does not get even close to the definition of Lidar and at considerably less cost. It can also be used inside structures or underground - remember in Prometheus where the let some survey drones loose to scan inside the ship? That was Lidar, and the industry is trying to get the equipment light enough to be carried by autonomous multicopters

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Abandoned medieval street system south of Winchelsea. Brilliant

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=TQ9043616910

Are you sure they are not simply ancient field boundaries and filled ditches?

Edit: I do see a few artifacts that are more likely lanes than field divisions.

Elsewhere in England I see some nice traces of ancient ridge-and-furrow farming.

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When I was a small boy I became fascinated by the story of King John's treasure and used to spend time in libraries and mooching about the fen thinking I would one day track it down. Occasionally, this old habit emerges again - and it certainly did when I saw the LIDAR map. I spent lots of yesterday and today scanning my old hot zones for, I dunno, a LIDAR image of a half-buried crown or something.

As I was googling to find a wiki link for this post https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wash#King_John.27s_losing_the_Crown_Jewels I found that other people have been using this data for exactly the same purpose!

It's out there somewhere, I tell you. In fact I know where it is - it came to me when I was drunk. All I need is an HPCer to come with me into the fen one dark night - but you can't tell a soul. We'll be rich! Trust me.

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Brilliant, as you say, it tests your geography knowledge, I was looking for the Pennines first, then found the ship canal/rivers to navigate to my area. I lazily use google maps to find places, this is free of all the clutter (and advertising) and really highlights how the landscape dominated by rivers/canals and other terrain. Elevated motorway junctions really stand out too.

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