Geo Week News

March 15, 2012

Coming out of the thermal woodwork

There’s a good reason why I didn’t say Jonathan Coco and his colleagues at Engensus were the FIRST to layer thermography onto point clouds. I just said they were doing it. I hadn’t actually seen anyone do it before, so Coco’s work was the first I’d actually seen first hand, but I was fairly confident someone else out there had taken a swing at it. 

And I was right. The Twittersphere told me so. 

First I heard from the Spanish firm GIM Geomatics, which pointed me toward their I+D+i page where they offer up examples of their work integrating multispectral data with their 3D laser scanner. If nothing else, the images are pretty gorgeous:


Then I got a note from David Mitchell at Historic Scotland, who said they’ve been working with integrating thermal data for a couple of years. Many people have probably heard of their work in Rosslyn Chapel (made famous by Dan Brown and his Holy Grail writings), and you can see here that part of the work was thermography based:

Combining thermal survey data with the 3D model produced by laser scanning will give us a much better understanding of the performance of the building. It can highlight areas where energy efficiency could be improved and reveal potentially structurally problematic areas.

Mitchell also sent along an image from a 19th-century cottage Historic Scotland has refurbished and scanned, then layered on thermal data to make an interactive model for energy efficiency:


I live in an 1870s farmhouse, myself. I shudder to think what a similar image of my place would look like…

Finally, I heard tell that Gifford Engineering, now part of Ramboll Group, was doing thermal work a couple years back. I’m working on tracking that down right now, but I’ll take my Twitter-friend James Austin’s word for it. 

Of course, it goes without saying that if any of you are doing similar work layering on or integrating other data types with point clouds, lay it on me. I’m always looking for people doing things in new and different ways. 

Want more stories like this? Subscribe today!

Read Next

Related Articles


Join the Discussion