The Greenhatch Group has recently completed a prestigious and innovative 3D laser scanning project to the historic Stonehenge site which is a designated World Heritage site by UNESCO. The project was commissioned by English Heritage and the National Monuments Record to provide an accurate archival laser scan record to all the standing and fallen stones making up the Stonehenge site, together with details to the tops of the horizontal lintels, all of which has never been recorded or represented before under a single commission. The project also required the accurate recording of the landscape immediately surrounding Stonehenge, to enable a full 3D meshed model to be compiled for the entire monument to the highest level of accuracy and high definition ever provided.
The 3D laser scan process was undertaken over a 4-6 week period on site, using the very latest survey technology to provide high quality point cloud data for further use in meshed modelling procedures. The Landscape Environment was recorded using a Leica C10 pulse based laser scanner, typically recording data at a resolution of between 10 & 50 mm. The Stone Circle was recorded using a Z+F 5006h phased based laser scanner with results recorded at a resolution of 1mm. Finally a more in-depth survey of each stone face was then undertaken using the very latest Z+F high definition phased based, Imager 5010 laser scanner with results recorded at a stereo scan resolution of 0.5mm.
The survey results captured within each element and specified point cloud resolution were then utilised within specialised digital modelling software to provide realistic meshed models to each data set. Using the colour overlay captured by the laser scanners, photo realistic models of the Stone Circle and each and every stone could then be visualised for use in future studies. The meshed model data and laser scan point cloud data has now been officially handed over to English Heritage for archiving within the National Monuments Record Office in Swindon and to aid further investigation and interpretation of the site. Going forward, the data will also be used as a basis for a virtual reality model being prepared for the new visitors centre, planned for opening in 2013.