LiDAR is a scanning system attached to the underside of a low-flying aircraft in order to pulse laser light at the surface of the Earth. This light is reflected back up to the system, where it is measured, creating a reliable reading of the 3D shape of the ground below.
The LiDAR data for part of Dublin comes in two maps. The areas can be viewed on this image here.
This mapping is Bare Earth filtered data, mapped by surveyors and omitting buildings and other topography. This provides bare ground topography, useful for getting an overview of the contours of an area, but not providing details of height of buildings.
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