Located some 200 kilometers from the Korean Peninsula, Dokdo, the easternmost territory of South Korea, is home to more than 280 species of plants, birds and insects and 330 species of marine life.
"The entirety of Dokdo is designated as a natural monument, boasting beautiful scenery and almost unrivaled biodiversity."
Because of its unique geographical characteristics, Dokdo has been more or less unaffected by human activity, allowing it to maintain its stunning natural balance.
The spindle tree and Ulleung Gukhwa can be seen on Dongdo, one of two main islets of Dokdo.
The topography of the island is slowing changing because of erosion and weathering caused by strong winds and harsh weather. That's why collecting detailed data over time is important to prevent any possible damage and problems.
To better study every corner of the island, the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage deployed a drone with a LiDAR system that can take 360-degree images and videos using near-infrared ray lasers and even collect data of the geographical features beneath the trees and plants. The new system saves time and money as it takes only about 4 hours to scan the whole islands a task which would take up to a year if done without the technology.
"We can collect data using LiDAR drones at any time and any place and can deal with any sudden problems. We first used this cutting edge device on Dokdo because it's a difficult area to access and we can obtain accurate data in a short time."
The newly introduced laser drone can also be useful for conducting ecological studies of the nearby Ulleungdo island. It is the natural habitat of Junipers and has a population of Ulleung Gukhwa and thymes in Naridong basin.
The LiDAR drone will be used to shoot 11 natural reserves and 113 scenic spots across the country. The institute is planning to deploy the LiDAR drone once a year to collect data from these places over time and use the collected data for not only academic purposes but to create contents for practical use.
Lee Min-sun Arirang News, Dokdo Island.