The availability and open source format of the 3D model will allow scholars such as historians, archaeologists, and researchers to visualize, explore, analyse, and undertake research from the detailed and realistic spatial digital records. This will help develop new knowledge about the New Zealand Engineers Tunneling Company and give a greater understanding of its achievements.
A rich 3D model has been produced, quality-controlled, and archived to serve as a digital record that will guarantee some level of preservation of this heritage for future generations. This will allow many physical and cultural attributes of the structure to be protected including parts that do not belong to the Carrière Wellington museum and are at risk of being lost via degradation of the chalk geology or filling to accommodate urban development.
The accurate mapping and modelling will also be a valuable resource to the town authority of Arras to ensure well informed planning considerations contribute to future urban development.
For example the data can be used to create informative brochures and this website. Learning experiences such as pre-recorded animations and navigable 3D models have been created, for use in museums in New Zealand and France.
Beyond its technical and historical merits for the general public, this project offers an opportunity for a unique academic collaboration between France and New Zealand.
A 13mn movie was produced that included professional footage of the survey fieldwork made by our partner APIA, together with high quality Computer Graphics Imagery of the final photorealistic 3D model made in Bentley Pointools.
Below is the final point cloud model that can be navigated in a web browser (works better on Chrome and on a computer with capable graphics and a decent internet connection). For better convenience, The interactive model can also be opened in a plain page at http://www.otago.ac.nz/surveying/potree/projects/14-006_lidarras_cesium.html
Finally, we are experimenting with meshing and texturing to bring the model to life in Virtual Reality. See some test meshes in the Sketchfab viewer below.