Category Archives: Laser Scanning

SCAN SURVEY: Brunel Museum

  • 25-07-23 : 14.00 : Mostly Sunny
  • Leica BLK2GO SLAM Scanner / Emesent Hovermap ST with GoPro
  • Multiple scans / 60  minutes
  • Rendered with 3DS Max / V-Ray, Emesent Aura
  • Visit: Brunel Museum -Thames Tunnel

The Brunel Museum tunnel, also known as the Thames Tunnel, is a museum in Rotherhithe, SE London, consisting of the engine room and the shaft down to the tunnel.

Built by Marc Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, The Thames Tunnel was the world’s first underwater tunnel for pedestrians. When the tunnel opened in 1843, it was hailed as the 8th Wonder of The World.

By employing a pioneering tunnelling shield and other novel techniques, the Brunels encountered waterlogged ground, fires, and the ever-present threat of the River Thames above. Their success paved the way for future underwater tunnels and underground transportation systems.

The shaft is now sealed over, as the tunnel is now used by Overground trains – though the trains travelling between Rotherhithe and Wapping stations can still be felt and heard.

These two images illustrate the approximate location of the the train tunnels below the shaft seal.

Animation of Ortho camera descending through the site

Scan Survey: Nunhead Cemetery Chapel

  • 27-08-23 : 14.00 : Mostly Sunny
  • Leica BLK2GO SLAM Scanner
  • Single scan / 12minutes
  • Rendered with 3DS Max / V-Ray
  • Visit: Friends of Nunhead Cemetery

Nunhead Cemetery, established in 1840, stands as a significant Victorian burial ground in South London – one of the “magnificent seven” of London’s cemeteries. This historical site is characterized by its Gothic-style tombs, sprawling landscape, and diverse collection of monuments.

The Cemetery underwent a period of neglect and closure in the late 20th century due to financial constraints, leading to sporadic maintenance and overgrowth of vegetation. The burial grounds became engulfed by nature as trees, shrubs, and wildflowers obscured the graves and pathways, creating an eerie yet captivating atmosphere. This phase of overgrowth contributed to the cemetery’s unique charm, blending historical significance with a reclaimed natural landscape. In recent years, efforts have been made to restore and maintain the cemetery, preserving its historical allure while balancing its enchanting overgrown appeal.

The chapel in the centre of the cemetery was designed by Thomas Little in a Gothic style, and is a striking centerpiece amidst the serene landscape. Completed in 1842, its design features intricate details, including pointed arches, decorative stonework, and a dramatic spire that adds to its grandeur.

Originally serving as a place for funeral services and gatherings, the chapel fell into disuse and disrepair during periods of neglect. In 1976 after an arson attack the interior and roof were completely destroyed and the catacombs looted.


Scan Survey: Greenwich Foot Tunnel

The foot tunnel beneath the Thames connecting Greenwich in Southeast London to the Isle of Dogs.

  • 27/7/22 : 5.00AM
  • Leica BLK2GO SLAM Scanner
  • Single scan / 20 minutes
  • Rendered with 3DS Max / V-Ray

The tunnel was built in 1902, is 370 metres long and 15 metres deep.

The south shaft has 100 steps, the north shaft is a little shorter with just 88 steps.

A section of the tunnel was damaged by a bomb on the first night of the blitz during the Second World War in 1940. The repairs included this exposed metal ring segment.

St Anne’s Church Limehouse

A Nicolas Hawksmoor church started in 1712, completed in 1727 and consecrated in 1730.  Part of the 1711 act of parliament to build 50 new churches in London. Twelve – known as the Queen Anne Churches – were built, with six designed by Hawksmoor.

The tower of St Anne’s Church was originally designed for a rebuilt St Alfege Church in Greenwich however, as a cost saving measure the original St Alfege church tower was retained, and the new tower design went to St Anne’s instead. 

The approximately 50m high tower was designed to be visible from the Thames and protrudes well above the canopy of surrounding trees in the churchyard.

A large pyramid sits in the churchyard with the inscription “The Wisdom of Solomon”. A Hawksmoor elevation from the British Library shows a design with two pyramids on the east towers that were not built suggesting it could be one of two intended for there – though these are much larger than the one in the churchyard.

Further Reading / Sources

The National Archives

St Anne’s Restoration Campaign

St Alfege website

Londonist Article

Severndroog Castle Laser Scan

Laser scan / point cloud

Severndroog Castle – “Lady James’s Folly” – is an eighteenth century tower located in Oxleas woods in Southeast London.  It was built as a memorial to Commodore Sir William James, a former chairman of the East India Company by his wife Lady Anne James in 1784. Designed by architect Richard Jupp and based on Shrubs Hill Tower in Windsor, the triangular tower is 19 meters high with three storeys and a viewing platform. It stands within ancient deciduous woodland at the top of Shooter’s Hill – one of the highest natural points in London.

An inscription on the stone tablet above the entrance reads:

This building was erected MDCCLXXXIV by the representative of the late Sir William James, Bart. To Commemorate that Gallant Officer’s Atchievements (sic) in the East Indies during his command of the Company’s Marine Forces in those seas. And in a particular manner to record the Conquest off the Coast of Malabar which fell to his superior Valour and able Conduct on the 2nd day of April MDCCLV.

Survey Details
  • Laser Scan
  • Leica BLK360 / 13 scans / Medium scan density setting
  • Early morning / May / Sunny weather / significant tree coverage
  • All scans from ground level, external
  • Registration: Recap iPad app / Recap Pro 2021 desktop application
  • Post processing: CloudCompare / 3D Studio Max 2020

Export from Recap Pro as .PTS file

Clone instances of these imports and apply different subsampling settings to vary density of castle vs trees. Blend the results

3D Studio
Real World Point Size: 0.05 | Quality 2

3DS / V-Ray to render of point cloud – vary settings of Real World Point Size and Level of Detail

Real World Point Size: 0.01 / 0.02 / 0.05 | Quality 10
Orthographic – blended point sizes
Zephyr Aerial

Generate Orthophoto from dense point cloud

Further Reading / Sources

Official Severndroog Castle Site

Ian Visits: Climb to the top of Severndroog Castle

The Folly Flâneuse

Historic England

London Gardens Trust