3D mapping a 'Pisa' cake

We have created the first ever interior 3D map of Italy’s iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa using Zebedee, helping to preserve the cultural heritage of an important international landmark.

The Challenge

Preserving our cultural heritage

Hand measurements and sketches are widely used to record details of cultural heritage sites, however this is time consuming, expensive and not very accurate.

Having detailed records of landmarks and heritage sites can make it much easier to carry out repairs or reconstructions in the event of damage caused by an accident or natural disaster.

Our Response

It's a story of landmark science

Zebedee has gone where no 3D mapping system has gone before; creating a complete map of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Shadows of three people standing infront of projection of 3D scan of Leaning Tower of Pisa

While the tower’s cramped stairs and complex architecture have prevented previous mapping technologies from capturing its interior, Zebedee allowed our researchers to create the first comprehensive 3D map of the entire building.

Within 20 minutes we were able to use Zebedee to complete an entire scan of the building’s interior. This allowed us to create a uniquely comprehensive and accurate 3D map of the tower’s structure and composition, including small details in the stairs and stonework.

The Results

Saving the tower for future generations

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.

By remapping the Tower on a regular basis, the data could also be compared from year-to-year. Certain changes might indicate a problem with a structure that, if spotted early, could be fixed before it is too late, helping protect the tower long into the future.

As well as safeguarding the details of the site for future generations, having a comprehensive 3D model of one of the world’s most significant cultural heritage sites could allow people who can’t physically visit the tower to explore it remotely via the Internet.

This would help people around the world better understand and appreciate the Leaning Tower of Pisa's incredible architecture and history.

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