3D Laser Scanning of Heritage Areas after Earthquakes: San Lorenzo de Tarapacá, Chile


The images show a record done in January 2013 using a three-dimensional (3D) terrestrial laser scanner, technology that allows obtaining a point cloud with precision of millimetres. It combines laser measurements and photographs to build a colour and accurate 3D model of the current state in a short period of time, which can be edited and used as a basis for assessment and further design. It is a three-dimensional representation of the specific state of a place that allows us to virtually transport ourselves to it, to walk it, to observe it, to dimension it and to study it. Because of that, this technology could be considered as a very powerful tool for intervention and reconstruction processes after earthquakes, which occur regularly in the country. During three days on site, two persons scanned the heritage area of San Lorenzo de Tarapacá from its streets, including some interior spaces, demonstrating that it is possible to obtain a huge amount of data in little time. This is relevant because after an earthquake there is a limited window of time to record before demolition and other changes to the built environment take place.


Chile, San Lorenzo de Tarapacá, reconstruction, 3D laser scanning, earthquakes

How to Cite

Devilat, B., (2014) “3D Laser Scanning of Heritage Areas after Earthquakes: San Lorenzo de Tarapacá, Chile”, Opticon1826 16, Art. 12.







Bernadette Devilat (Bartlett School of Architecture & DPU, University College London)



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