Back to articles

Keeping Brisbane’s Story Alive with 3D Scanning Technologies.


What can we say about the recent catastrophe of the Notre Dame fire? It is a shame that it took a building of such significance, not only for the French but internationally, to turn our attention to the fragility of landmarks - buildings, monuments and landscapes – that carry important social, artistic, historical, scientific, and economic values.

It is the social value that we’d like to stress here in particular.  Heritage Counts 2014 study has found that “visiting heritage sites makes people happier than playing sport or viewing art” and is linked to general wellbeing of individuals and the community.

Important historical and economic benefits of heritage sites usually come to mind when talking about internationally famous landmarks. As for social and community benefits, let’s take a step back to our own hometown.

People who have never lived in Brisbane would be unlikely to know anything about our city’s best gems such as the Customs House, the Windmill, the Woolstores, ANZAC Square, Commissariat Store, the Powerhouse or the Breakfast Creek Hotel.  These sites would not be at the forefront of minds of those who plan to visit Australia; Sydney Opera House more likely.

Yet to our residents and off-the-beaten-track visitors alike, these places are significant parts of Brisbane’s identity. We know them, we identify with them and therefore, they underpin our sense of belonging to this city and to Brisbane community.   

“…historical environment is a great force for good. It enhances the quality of our surroundings, provides employment, helps underpin our national identity and generally lifts our spirits.” – Sir Laurie Magnus, the Chairman of English Heritage.

If any important cultural heritage site was destroyed in Brisbane, like for any other city in the world less famous than Paris, for many members of our city’s community, the news would be just as sad as the news about Notre Dame.  

Think about the Milton Tennis Centre, demolished in 2002 after a major fire - the venue that hosted 8 Australian Open championships and is an important part of Brisbane’s story.

Preserving our story.

We see all over the news today, how fortunate it is that a 3D scan was performed on the Notre Dame in 2015, obtaining data of incredible accuracy and allowing the possibility of rebuilding the landmark to exact detail.

“An integrated method that utilises a range of tools from laser scanning to traditional survey and high-resolution digital photography are highly valuable in the field of cultural heritage where high accuracy and comprehensive documentation of sites are needed on a regular basis.” - John Ristevski, Director of the research and development activities of CyArk.

Heritage sites are very important tools that allow us to understand ‘our story.’  Preserving these sites, beyond their potential natural lifetime, is now more possible than ever, thanks to laser scanning technologies.

It is too late to wait for a disaster to happen to a significant site of any age. 

If we can document it in a visual way and to every detail, we should!

Nick Bio For 3D Scan Blog.jpg

Contact Nick to see how we can help capture and preserve your heritage site (07) 3666 5200.

Anzac Square Scan.JPG

Above: Anzac Square Scan, captured by Nick McKelvey.