Applications of Fodar

Fodar has many possible applications, here we outline just a few. If you are unfamiliar with DEMs, orthophotos, difference images, and fodar, you might want to see this fodar tutorial first. Please note that Fairbanks Fodar does not practice land surveying, we simply provide awesome DEMs and orthomosaics at an affordable price to professional land surveyors, land management professionals, or anyone seeking a better understanding of their area of interest or changes to it.  Please contact us with your ideas or questions.

All of the DEMs and orthomosaics shown below were planned, acquired, and processed by Fairbanks Fodar.


Mining operations actively change the shape of the earth on a regular basis. Fodar maps can measure cut and fill volumes, form base maps for planning, document reclamation, detect uncontrolled [...]

Snow Thickness

Seasonal snow is the largest topographic change on our planet, yet until now our ability to measure it has remained elusive. Snow plays a major role in water resources, ecology, and global [...]

Coastal Erosion

Coastal erosion rates are changing due to global climate change, but exactly how remains to be measured. Fodar can measure not only the aftermath of storms, but the aftermath of yesterday’s [...]

Ground Subsidence

  Whether caused by thermal instability of permafrost, pumping of subterranean acquifers, or some other geomorphic process, subsidence is a big deal. Even a few centimeters of change can be [...]


Fodar can detect subtle, natural changes in the earth’s surface. River geomorphology is just one application. Here is a section of the Toklat River in Denali National Park in early June. [...]


As climate continues to warm, glaciers continue to lose volume at an increasingly rapid rate. Fodar is an excellent tool for the measurement of glacier change on annual, seasonal, and even daily [...]

Sea Ice

Sea ice plays an enormous role in global climate dynamics and ocean commerce, yet our understanding of it is limited by our observational methods. Fodar can measure freeboard, surface roughness, [...]

Infrastructure Monitoring

All runways, roads, bridges, and buildings are in some state of decay.  Fodar™ can detect and measure changes in surface elevation as part of a systematic, operational program to detect such [...]

Construction Progress

For about the same cost as making oblique photos of construction progress, fodar can made DEMs and orthophotos that can be used for engineering, permitting or compliance. Fodar can also be used [...]


Anything on the earth’s surface is topography to fodar, including caribou and their footprints. Here are some caribou grazing on the tundra, as seen in a point cloud (rather than the DEMs [...]


Fodar DEMs, orthos, and point clouds can be used to determine stems per acre, species, and height, can assist in layout and permitting before sale and can create bald earth maps, assist with [...]

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