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Whitehaven Harbour – LiDAR

Whitehaven is a bustling coast town on the edge of Cumbria overlooking the Irish Sea. As with many ‘seaside’ destinations in the UK, a drop in popularity with the influx for cheap holidays to the sun, as seen the town loose some of its past splendour. However, a rejuvenated sea-front, and an expansion of industrial business in the area is resulting in a revitalised town, full of life and fun. Commendium was requested to 3D Scan the old seafront in order that an accurate model of the current state could be presented to architects from which proposals for further development could be made. Commendium constructed a detailed digital 3D model based on an accurate LiDAR scan involving over 60 scanning stations. All the expected challenges surfaced: wind, water spray, curious bystanders, seagulls and car movements but a point-cloud model was created. From this a model was derived in SketchUp which the architects could use. A planning proposal has subsequently been made is being considered by the authorities.

Sir Francis Level – Mine Works

Scattered throughout the North of England are hundreds of abandoned mine workings, leftovers from the Victorian Period, when the Industrial Revolution, transformed Britain into a modern technology driven country that needed raw materials from anywhere they could be found to satisfy the demand. Lead, silver, coal and much more besides was extracted from small private mine working throughout the hills, employing thousands. The relics of this period can still be found and some mines, armed with appropriate skills and equipment can be entered, to reveal a wealth of industrial heritage. The St Francis Level contains a unique water powered lift, to raise and lower miners to different levels is one such example, and like almost all of them, is sadly decaying. With public funds unavailable to preserve these unique items the North Yorkshire Dales National Park (NYDNP), requested Commendium to record the mine workings in 3D so they could be preserved on one medium for future generations. The NYDNP commissioned Commendium to visit St Francis Level and create a full colour digital model of the mine workings for their heritage records. This included visual representations to enable people, for whom a trip down a deep cold mine would not be attractive, to appreciate the work of the Victorian miners as well as models suitable for architectural and historic studies. Over a series of 5 trips to the mine, Commendium staff laser scanned the mine workings with state of the art LIDAR laser scanning equipment and took over 5000 photographs, from which a highly detailed, colour digital model was built. Commendium constructed a detailed digital 3D model of the workings in the St Francis Level. From this a short film was made that can be viewed on Youtube, which is shown in the Dales Museum in Hawes. The models have been archived and have been used for Historical Studies as well as driving an application for further funds to preserve these items and other like them. The format of the model was made so that it is be available to Computer CGI applications, architectural packages and historical documentation. Most recently Commendium has been asked to contribute to a BBC film featuring the mine including an interview by Paul Rose and the supply of graphics and 3D models to feature in the film.

Gimerton Cove – Tunnel Survey

There are many hidden gens through-out the UK. Possibly one of the strangest is Gilmerton Cove in Edinburgh. No-one really knows how or why these strange tunnels were chipped out of the rock below Edinburgh’s busy streets, but there are many amusing stories to add to the mystery. Gilmerton Cove commissioned Commendium to visit the tunnels and create a full colour digital model of the workings for their records, for heritage, conservation and architectural reasons. This included visual representations to enable people, for whom a trip down a deep cold mine would not be attractive, to appreciate the work of the Victorian miners as well as models suitable for architectural and historic studies. In a single trip, Commendium staff laser scanned the tunnels workings with state of the art LIDAR laser scanning equipment and took over 1000 photographs, from which a highly detailed, colour digital model was built. Commendium constructed a detailed digital 3D model of Gilmerton Cove and confirmed that at present the tunnels do not extend under the road, though it is clear they have in the past. The hight between the road surface and the tunnels was confirm to be less than 0.5m, thus informing the cove of the need to consult with structural engineers to ensure safety. The format of the model was made so that it is be available to Computer CGI applications, architectural packages and historical documentation.

St Patrick’s Chapel

These ruins lie in the unlikely setting on the coast of Lancashire overlooking the Morecambe Bay. Quite the most beautiful spot despite proximity to the decommissioning nuclear power station at Heysham point. Commendium was commissioned to build a 3D model of The Chapel for heritage and conservational purposes, as a record so that its condition could be reviewed over the years. A series of approximately 300 photos was taken around the site and places in to Agisoft Photogrammetric software from where the model was built The model provides a reference – a point in time as to the state of the buildings from where its condition will be reassessed in due time.

The Worlds Largest Cave

Caves contain unique geological and meteorological records. Increasingly, the sediments they hold and the strata from which they are formed are being using to study and understand the Earth in ever more detail. They hold particularly valuable insights as they have been undisturbed erosion, be that due to human activity or natural meteorological processes. However, caves are dark, and so those parts that are beyond reach of the lights that speleologists can carry, have not been studied. Until now. Commendium has been part of a worldwide project to LIDAR scan the great natural chambers of the world in order to create a data set for further study. To date fifteen have been completed. We visited and documents caves in The USA, Mexico, Belize, China, Oman, Malaysia, France and Spain. It involved full scale speleological expeditions to enter and explore these places. Commendium constructed a detailed digital 3D model of the all the caves in a variety of formats. The data sets are being used to date events in the cave development and also to date deposits that are being used to reveal climate change records over the last million years. This is corroborated with data from other sources, such as Ice Caps Cores, to improve the worldwide understanding of climate change. Cave records will allow climate change studies to reach back almost ten times further than any other source. National Geographic funded one element of this project, from which Commendium helped to build an array of 3D interpretations to help their readers understand these wonderful places. A film of the largest of the caves was made by Commendium and can be viewed on Youtube.