The Royal Commission, working in collaboration with the Computer Science department at Aberystwyth University, have carried out laser scanning of five chapels in the care of Addoldai Cymru; Peniel, Bethania, Hen Gapel, Hen Dŷ Cwrdd and Libanus.
Laser scanning enables the rapid collection of 3D data in great detail and to millimetre accuracy. The process involves mounting a laser scanner on a tripod next to the area to be scanned. The scanner fires a laser and by measuring the time it takes for the laser to be reflected back from an object it hits, a distance is calculated. The scanner records everything within its field of view and as it systematically sweeps the area around it, a complete picture of the 3D space is created. The data collected is known as a point cloud and contains information on many millions of points. This data can be analysed to extract valuable information and used to create a variety of products from plans, sections and elevations through to animations.
The laser scanning of the chapels undertaken by the Royal Commission and Aberystwyth University provides a detailed and accurate record of the buildings in 2014 and has been archived for future generations within the National Monuments Record of Wales. The resulting fly-through’s are just one ‘virtual’ product created; more important is the on-going use of the data to assist the future management and conservation of the buildings.