Despite the success of lidar in making ancient features visible in certain tropical environments, researchers often have difficulty using lidar to identify small, low, non-linear features. This study juxtaposes lidar data with data gathered from pedestrian survey along the Ucí-Cansahcab causeway, located in the Northern Maya lowlands, to assess the degree to which the invisibility of small buildings in lidar imagery affects demographic research. The juxtaposition shows that demographic research with lidar can move forward in some cases once pedestrian survey has been used as a baseline to establish correction factors for using lidar data on their own. Another current barrier to the use of lidar is cost. This paper provides examples of the kinds of questions that can be addressed by projects with smaller budgets and, therefore, smaller amounts of lidar coverage. These questions include site size comparisons and the degree to which settlement clustered around ancient features such as the Ucí-Cansahcab causeway.