Remote Sensing Extravaganza

The Boston Globe reports on a project at the Paul Revere House that combines laser scanning and ground-penetrating radar to form an above-and-below ground 3D model of the site (don’t miss the nifty fly-through). It’s an extravagant, expansive project, and rare in its combination of above and below-ground spatial data in a single model. The idea is to use the information to help decide, among other things, where to put a new elevator and it also represents the first detailed survey of the museum property.

With a little help, it might also become the structure for an on-going, annotated survey of the building and the site, noting which pieces of the building, for example, are 17th or 18th-century and which are 20th-century reconstructions. The problems will lie in integrating the fielded data (dates, materials, etc.) with the spatial data. I don’t know of an off-the-shelf software solution that would allow a relational database to be combined with a CAD model in a flexible and sustainable way.

There’s no word, yet, on the larger plans for what will certainly be a marvelous resource as-is.

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