Skip to main content

3D Laser Scanning Combines with Human Ingenuity to Restore Historical Structures

3D laser scanning has evolved into a technique of choice for experts who require 3D documentation for historical landmarks. As detailed in this American Surveyor cover story by Trimble’s Gregory Lepere, the powerful combination of 3D point clouds plus sophisticated real-time control software, along with expert analysis from project teams, provides intricate and accurate detail needed to restore damaged historical attractions.

Lepere describes how the specific equipment needed for each scanning job depends on the site size and the breadth of data that needs to be captured. He explores how scanning technology is vital to the historic restoration efforts of worldwide attractions and landmarks, including:

  • Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris - “Point clouds from scans will support the restoration lifecycle, including knowing how to handle the destruction, determining how to support work around existing architecture, and finally, informing decisions on building features, such as replicating what existed before or creating something new,” states Lepere.
  • The Liuhe Pagoda - This popular tourist attraction in China underwent its fourth major renovation in 2013, using support from 3D laser scanning, in combination with meticulously-handcrafted and assembled parts.
  • Kennecott Mines in Alaska - The site’s iconic building – a U.S. National Historic Landmark – needed preservation. Restoration teams utilized a combination of solutions including Trimble Business Center, the Trimble SX10 total scanning system, the R8 and R10 GNSS receivers.
  • Church of Saint Simeon Stylites - This Syrian landmark – partially destroyed during a Russian rocket attack in 2016 – could be restored thanks to previous 3D laser scanning survey detail conducted with Trimble product solutions.

“As 3D laser scanning becomes a more mature technology, similar to optical instruments, we will see a much broader use of this fantastic technology,” notes Lepere, noting the recent introduction of the Trimble X7. “Each new innovation is making it easier and faster to capture precise 3D scanning data to produce high-quality deliverables.”

For more information on Trimble laser scanning solutions, visit here. To purchase Trimble products, visit here.