Yesterday was a sad day. A tragic fire of currently undetermined cause forever altered the profile of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. If they want to rebuild or repair the structure in any way, it will be critical for them to know the prior condition of the building. What used to be there? Has the remaining building shifted at all? Without documentation, there is no way to know. Fortunately for Paris, Notre Dame was laser scanned several years ago. And today, articles are popping up to tell the tale of Andrew Tallon’s scanning adventures.

In this video from National Geographic, Tallon describes the process, though in this case a different cathedral:

Below are some fantastic articles you may find interesting. They do a great job explaining LIDAR technology, the scanning process, and point clouds in understandable terms, and all with respect to Tallon’s work on the Notre Dame cathedral.

If you are interested in reading the story of the cathedral and seeing some of the imagery captured by Tallon’s team, check out this page set up by an organization he co-founded called “Mapping Gothic France“.

In other Notre Dame 3D news, you might enjoy this article about the digital modeling of Notre Dame and the rest of Paris as it might have been in the late 18th century. A piece in The Verge describes creating the 3D setting for Assasin’s Creed, complete with images.

Nothing comes close to a detailed point cloud when it comes to documenting architecture. And when it comes to renovation, renderings are always handy. We do both.

(Thumbnail image courtesy Yann Caradec)