University Challenge: To Deliver Rapid 3D Results in Half the Time

Harriet Brewitt

Midland Survey are experts in surveying complex and difficult to access spaces where there is limited or no GPS, but Oriel College with its labyrinthine network of historic buildings brought a particular set of challenges.

Oriel College, part of the prestigious University of Oxford in the UK, is nearly 700 years old, with around 200 rooms across five storeys, including an “island site”, accessible only via tunnel. The structure has been extended over the years and no accurate floor plans or elevation drawings exist. As a world-class institute, it is occupied 24/7 and opportunities to accurately scan with minimal disruption are few. Traditional tools were not an option due to the network of rooms spread across 5 storeys.


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David Johnson, Director of Midland Survey said, “Due to the lack of GPS coverage in the tunnel, the only option was to use GeoSLAM’s ‘go-anywhere’ ZEB-REVO. The unusual shape of the building, with its unconventional layout and complex network of rooms, meant it was too difficult and time-consuming to survey with traditional static scanning methods (as this would require multiple individual set-ups and increased post-processing work). We needed a lightweight, mobile tool that works well in enclosed environments. Using the ZEB-REVO around 200 rooms were scanned, amounting to 12,000m². Across 5 days, 12 individual rapid ZEB-REVO scans were completed each taking just 30 minutes. The entire project was completed in around half of the total time that would have been required using static equipment.”

“We frequently work in hazardous environments, as well as in complex and difficult to access spaces where there is limited or no GPS coverage such as heritage buildings with thick stone walls. We often have limited time on site to accurately create a 3D model. Access to user-friendly technology such as the ZEB-REVO that scans multi-level environments and produces accurate and high-quality 3D survey data, is a real game-changer for us.”


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