By Pavel (Flickr: Waiting for Jessica Watson), via Wikimedia Commons
Sydney Opera House
World Heritage Sites and the Texan city of El Paso are being captured in 3D using the latest 3D scanning technology.
Director of Texas Tech's architecture school Robert Gonzalez wants to create a digital 3D replica of the metropolis' downtown area using lasers, El Paso Inc reports, while a team of Scottish experts has been tasked with scanning 10 historic sites, according to Sky News.
Capturing El Paso
Mr Gonzalez stated that the student project would be part of a new historic preservation programme he is working on. The scheme would create a permanent record in 3D of El Paso's historic buildings.
The school of architecture itself is moving from its suburban location to the historic Union Depot Passenger Station in the downtown area, the news outlet reported last year.
It is hoped future student projects might find innovative uses for 3D scans of the downtown area.
Indeed, the cohort, staff and local architects have been given demonstrations of the scanning technology by Elizabeth Louden, who is arguably best known for her digital 3D model of the Statue of Liberty for the National Park Service.
Ms Louden teaches at the College of Architecture in Lubbock, which was one of the first universities to use 3D scanning technology in the US when the expert acquired her first 3D scanner in 1999.
She and her students have been using the technology to create high-accuracy 3D models of historic buildings and archeological sites to aid in their preservation - scanning everything from an ancient Egyptian temple to George Washington's tent at Valley Forge in 1776. Once scanned, these structures can then be transformed into 3D digital models.
Scanning World Heritage Sites
Historic Scotland is overseeing the 3D scanning of 10 World Heritage as part of a preservation drive - with the Sydney Opera House among the locations set for 3D scanning.
The organisation's Chris McGregor told Sky News that the 3D scanned images will help with the management of Sydney Opera House and its maintenance.
He and his team are among the few experts permitted onto the cultural venue's 'sails', as they have been hanging off the outstanding harbour-facing structure in order to capture every last inch of the building.
The scans will be turned into an accurate model, which will eventually be viewable online later in 2013.
The project - which has been christened The Scottish Ten by collaborators Historic Scotland and 3D scanning experts at the Glasgow School of Art - includes the heritage sites of Mount Rushmore, the Eastern Qing Dynasty toms in China and the remote island of St Kilda.