For those of you who are unaware, the Notre Dame Cathedral – one of France’s most iconic landmarks and the setting to Victor Hugo’s most famous characters – was engulfed by a massive fire earlier today. The blaze visible from all over the city, and created massive plumes of smoke. One major casualty to the inferno was the roof and its spire, that came crashing in under its own weight as the fire burned away at the supports.
Despite the damage to the medieval infrastructure, Paris officials are positive that rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral to its former glory may be possible, thanks to the work of the late Dr. Andrew Tallon. Prior to the blaze, Dr. Tallon had reportedly archived the entire cathedral’s infrastructure digitally back in 2015. Thanks to the wonders of laser mapping technology.
Dr. Tallon had scanned the church by setting up geo-located points in spaces located within the cathedral. Once set, he merely set placed the machine within radius of these points and – as he puts it – “let it rip”. The end result of this laser mapping is an extremely accurate and rich 3D model of the building. Roughly 100GB in size and kept in data archives for use in cases of restoration.
As a fun fact; the laser scanning method was both so effective and accurate that, when the good doctor inspected the digitised model of Notre Dame Cathedral, he found out that some of the pillars in the cathedral didn’t line up with one another. Suggesting that they could’ve been built around already existing structures.
Whatever the case, one thing is clear; restoration professionals will undoubtedly be faced with the daunting task of cleaning and breathing new life into the cathedral, once the embers of the fire finally stop glowing.