London, 08 February 2011 – Nottingham’s architectural heritage is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to a University project to survey almost 450 caves located below the City. The survey project is being led by Trent and Peak Archaeology from the University of Nottingham and is the first part of the Caves of Nottingham Regeneration Project (CoNoRP) designed to assess the archaeological importance of the caves and to encourage the city and its visitors to appreciate the caves as a unique historical resource.
Using 3D laser scanners from Leica to measure millions of points inside the caves, and point cloud software from Pointools to create photorealistic 3D models, the project team has produced a number of high-definition movies which have already been viewed more than 100,000 times on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/NottinghamCaves?feature=mhum) to simultaneously raise the profile of Nottingham’s hidden heritage and 3D laser scanning at large.
“So far we have documented about 10% of the caves using our laser scanner,” commented Dr David Walker, Project Officer for Trent and Peak Archaeology. “The interest generated by the Pointools videos on YouTube and on our own website has been amazing.”
According to Dr Walker the project team can survey a small cave system with just six or seven scans to measure around 50 million points. Whereas Peel Street – the largest cave measured thus far – involved 99 scans and generated more than a billion points. Walker continued, “Using Pointools software to convert, process, and reuse the point cloud model, we can move from raw scan data to finished website with high-definition movies in about four working days.”
Joe Croser, VP of Products at Pointools added, “This streamlined workflow saves the project team time and money when compared to traditional surveying workflows. Better still, it produces higher quality 3D models which can then be used to cut dimensionally accurate cross sections and elevations at any point with the press of a button.”
Trent and Peak Archaeology and the University of Nottingham (www.nottinghamcavessurvey.org.uk) join a long line of distinguished teams that have used Pointools software for heritage work. Other users include English Heritage (www.english-heritage.org.uk), The National Trust (www.nationaltrust.org.uk), CyARK (www.cyark.org), and Channel 4’s globally acclaimed “Time Team” (www.channel4.com/timeteam) who first featured Pointools software recreating the World War I tunnels at Ypres in France.
“We selected Pointools software for its ease of use, its performance when working with the very largest point cloud models, and of course price,” continued Walker. “However, most compelling was the high quality visualisation, excellent animation, and photo-realistic lighting options which place Pointools far ahead of any other solutions on the market.”