Leaning Tower of Pisa 3D-mapped with handheld laser

Researchers say detailed 3D maps could be used to rebuild heritage structures after a devastating fire or quake.

(Credit: CSIRO)

3D laser scanners have been used to map everything from mine shafts to old homes, but an Australian team has created the first interior map of Italy’s famous Leaning Tower of Pisa using a handheld scanner.

Researchers from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, used a Zebedee scanner, which sways around on a spring as its user walks through a structure to be mapped.

The device enabled the group to produce a detailed 3D map of the 14th-century icon, despite the tower’s complex architecture and cramped stairs.

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