CANBERRA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers have created the first ever interior 3D map of Italy's iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa by using a breakthrough mobile laser mapping system, a latest statement from CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, said recently.
According to the statement, developed by the CSIRO, the Zebedee technology is a handheld 3D mapping system incorporating a laser scanner that sways on a spring to capture millions of detailed measurements of a site as fast as an operator can walk through it. Specialized software then converts the system's laser data into a detailed 3D map.
While the tower's cramped stairs and complex architecture have prevented previous mapping technologies from capturing its interior, Zebedee has enabled the researchers to finally create the first comprehensive 3D map of the entire building.
"This technology is ideal for cultural heritage mapping, which is usually very time consuming and labour intensive. It can often take a whole research team a number of days or weeks to map a site with the accuracy and detail of what we can produce in a few hours, " said Jonathan Roberts, Research Program Leader at CSIRO's Computational Informatics Division.
"Our detailed record of the Leaning Tower of Pisa may one day be critical in being able to reconstruct the site if it was to suffer catastrophic damage due to natural disasters such as a fire or an earthquake. Having a detailed 3D model of the world's most significant cultural heritage sites could also be used to allow people who cannot physically visit these sites to better understand and appreciate their history and architecture," said Franco Tecchia, Assistant Professor of Italy's Institute of Communication, Information and Perception Technologies.