Baguio embraces LiDAR technology for DRRM, preparedness, taxation

The city government became the first local government unit in the country to have its entire boundaries surveyed using the state-of-the-art Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanning technology to boost its disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM preparedness and taxation efforts.

The city’s LiDAR mapping project was done in partnership with AB Surveying Development (ABSD), the first consultancy firm to introduce aerial LIDAR technology for commercial surveying.

“This project will give the local government one of the most important decision-making tools for citywide planning and development,” ABSD founder and general manager Engr. Antonio Botor stressed.

He explained that LiDAR technology features multiple laser points in accurately mapping large areas wherein the LiDAR generated map of the city can be used for infrastructure planning, road network management, flood mapping, tax mapping, disaster risk reduction and management and even for potential investors as aid for scouting viable business locations.

The ABSD official disclosed the entire mapping of the city took only 2 days and a 3-week post-field work processing through the use of the latest technology, a feat that would have been unimaginable with the use of the conventional survey8ing methods.

City Budget Officer Leticia O. Clemente revealed that the city’s LiDAR mapping technology was provided some P10 million funding through the unimplemented geographic information system project of the local government in the past years and that the same will be turned over to the city before the end of the year so that concerned offices will be able to maximize the use of the same for their prescribed purposes.

She pointed out that it will be up to the City Engineering Office, City Assessor’s Office, City Building and Architecture Office, City Treasury Office and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO) to maximize the existence of the LiDAR generated maps of the city as guide in planning the implementation of their future projects and generate the needed resources from the numerous undeclared properties in the different parts of the city.

Clemente admitted that the local government tried to embark on a geographic information system project previously but the same did not work out which prompted the city to pursue the same with the use of the latest available technology provided by the company that participated in the conduct of public bidding of the project.

Botor said the company will be conducting a 3-week training for designated personnel of the local government who will be manning the LiDAR maps as part of their obligation to transfer the technology to the city pursuant to the terms of reference in the conduct of the public bidding for the project.

According to him, the company undertook the LiDAR mapping technology project of Baguio city with a much discounted cost to help in advocating for the use of the latest surveying tools in ascertaining the prevailing situation in a certain locality without heavily banking on the conventional mode of doing the surveys. - Dexter A. See