LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure variable distances to the Earth. These light pulses, combined with other data, generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
The LiDAR image above reveals the surface characteristics of the ground comprising Vick, Odd Fellows, and Rountree cemeteries.
Vick cemetery is a dispiriting flat, featureless plan — not entirely unexpected given the city’s contracted leveling and grading of the site.
Odd Fellows’ surface is lightly stippled, with a short, artificially straight “scar” near its lower left corner that appears to correspond to the mysterious trapezoid revealed in old aerial photos. The image also captures the berm along the edge of Sandy Creek, which was channeled for reasons that are not apparent given its relative lack of importance as a tributary of Hominy Swamp.
Sandy Creek is the eastern border of Rountree Cemetery, and the unnaturally straight bed of the creek makes its manipulation plain. Rountree Missionary Baptist Church’s 1906 deed to the property refers to this waterway as a “canal.”
The image reveals other interesting landscape features, including the jagged path of an old watercourse, or perhaps a drainage ditch, just below Vick cemetery (now shielded by a line of deciduous trees) and two undulating parallel terraces east of Sandy Creek.
Again, many thanks to Will Corbett, GIS Coordinator, Wilson County Technology Services Department.