THE Environment Agency (EA) is making its LiDAR data sets freely available as open data to commercial organisations from September 2015.
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a technique involving laser measurement of the distance between a survey aircraft and the ground. It is used to measure the elevation of the land as well as buildings, vegetation and other objects on its surface. From LiDAR data accurate 3D models of the terrain can be built up. It is typically used for environmental and land-use modelling, flood monitoring, asset management and urban planning.
The floods in 2014 appear to have provided the motivation to make this data widely available. The EA has accurate elevation data covering approximately 60 per cent of England and Wales.