Researchers have created a stunning 3D map of the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, used a sophisticated laser scanner called Zebedee attached to the back of an operator who then simply walks around the area to be mapped.
While not the first building to be mapped, the cramped interior of the 641-year-old building prohibited previous techniques.
Dr Jonathan Roberts, research program leader at CSIRO’s Computational Informatics Division, said: "This technology is ideal for cultural heritage mapping, which is usually very time consuming and labour intensive.
"It can often take a whole research team a number of days or weeks to map a site with the accuracy and detail of what we can produce in a few hours.
"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 result is an incredible and almost 'inside-out' projection of the tower.
The designers of the technology believe their work could be critical if the tower were to be destroyed by a fire or perhaps an earthquake.
Roberts said: "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."
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