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September 2019
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3D Laser Scanning for Historic Preservation

3 Historic Landmarks Preserved through Digital Archiving

In October of 2013, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Philippine region of Bohol. In April of 2019, a fierce fire engulfed the roof of Paris’ famous Notre Dame Cathedral claiming the spire and causing devastating damage to the roof and upper walls. Fortunately, a 3D laser scan of Notre Dame exists that serves as a digital blueprint of every inch of the exterior and interior. The scan will likely be utilized in its restoration process. Unfortunately, many of the churches of Bohol were not so lucky. Crumbling to rubble and dust, only photographs and postcards remain. As natural disasters, increased tourism, exposure to environmental elements, and lack of maintenance lend to the decay of historical buildings, preservationists and historians are adopting the use of 3D laser scanning for historic preservation – digitally memorializing and safeguarding these beloved sites for centuries to come. Here are just a few iconic historical sites proactively archived by this technology.

1. Notre Dame Under Fire. Memorialized in 3D.

On a Monday evening in April of 2019 a devastating fire tore across the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France while the world watched in shock. For 9 hours, the beloved cathedral burned. Flames claimed the cathedral’s famous spire, roof, and upper walls leaving Paris in devastation as it prepared for a financial and logistical course of restorative action.

Rewind to 2015 – American Professor of Art at Vassar College, Andrew Tallon, visits Notre Dame while seeking to “understand how medieval builders erected some of Europe’s great cathedrals.” Using 3D laser scanning, Tallon digitally archived every square millimeter of the structure through billions of data points in the form of a 3D point cloud. It’s believed that Tallons scans will play a crucial role in reviving Notre Dame, but unfortunately, Tallon passed away in 2018 and will never know the impact of his work on likely the most high-profile 3D laser scan to date.

Photo Credit: Print Collector/Getty Images from Town and Country Magazine

In April of this year, French president Emmanuel Macron announced an ambitious plan to restore the cathedral in 5 years. Original construction of Notre Dame began in 1163. The famous spire was added around 1250, and the cathedral has undergone numerous changes throughout the years from revered cathedral to rundown storage facility and returned to the limelight following the famous novel Hunchback of Notre Dame. Its next chapter impatiently awaits. Although the cathedral may never be a complete replica of what once was, Tallon’s 3D laser scan gives the restoration team the best chance of restoring it to its iconic glory.

2. Tampa’s Famous Jackson Rooming House in Distress

Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Times

Located in Tampa, Florida, The Jackson Rooming House served as the only “Boarding House of the Stars” during the segregation period. Its walls housed African American superstars and famous activists whose status did not exclude them from the social offenses of the time including Martin Luther King, Jr., James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles. During this era, the house was one of the only places for traveling African Americans to stay in the Tampa area.

Photo Credit: The Tampa Bay Times

Today, the historical 24-room house remains in need of extreme repair. Built in 1901, the house has seen its day and is under pressure from the city to address serious safety issues. With “broken windows, a sagging roof, and splintering walls, it looks as though the slightest breeze could topple the century-old structure,” says the Tampa Bay Times. The local paper reported that a team from the Tampa Bay History Center and the University of South Florida used 3D laser scanning for historic preservation to create a digital point cloud and record every inch of the two-story, 4,000-square-foot building in efforts to preserve its history. Not only will the team use the 3D digital data to create a 3D replica and virtual tour, they may also help replicate and reopen the real Jackson House to the public one day. As of late, beams have been installed to shore up the Jackson House as further plans are in discussion.

3. Belsay Castle Proactively Preserved with Point Clouds

Photo Credit: BBC.com

The fourteenth-century Iron Age hillfort castle situated in Belsay, Northumberland, England (14 miles northwest of Newcastle) was originally the home to the prominent Middleton family. Passed down through the family, it was eventually abandoned as a residence in the early nineteenth century when the family built a new Grecian-style residence on the same grounds which became known as Belsay Hall. Although an estate of this magnitude seems indestructible, preservationists have secured it’s history through 3D laser scanning should distaster or the test of time take its toll.

The medieval icon’s famous defense tower dominates the castle and was built as both a statement of family pride as well as protection from conflict and tension in this border region between Scotland and England. The tower is one of the best examples of a still-existing pele tower (also known as peel tower) – similar to a mini castle that is easy to defend. When King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England and brought the two kingdoms under union and relative peace, he decreed that all pele towers should be torn down and that the borders should be known as “Middle Shires”.

Despite the turbulent climate and King James’ ruling to remove pele towers, Belsay Castle and Hall remain a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building respectively. English Heritage, the non-profit organization administering the estate, undertook laser scanning of the entire grounds to ensure a digital point cloud replica. With the completion of the 3D laser scans, preservationists have ensured its history is protected against exposure to the elements, tourist traffic, and natural disaster.

Bohol Partners with 3D Laser Scanning Specialists for Historic Preservation

Bohol, Phillipines Church | Photo Credit: Reuters by way of BBC.com

After the devasting earthquake of 2013 in the Filipino region of Bohol, 3D technology specialists DigiScript Phillipines began utilizing 3D laser scanning to digitally preserve UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This digital data in the form of high-resolution point clouds, ensures historic buildings can be restored should disaster strike again. The efforts will include four Baroque churches erected during the Spanish colonial period including Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, Sta. Maria Church in Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, and Miagao Church in Iloilo.

Proactive Protection. Digitizing History.

As the fear of natural disasters and foreseen decay weigh heavy on preservationists’ minds, the relief of 3D laser scanning plays a significant role. There’s now a solid, digitally archived backup plan. The partnership between preservationists and skilled 3D laser scanning and modelling professionals is key. Proactive planning with an As-Buit Surveying and Drafting/Modelling team you can trust ensures our century-old buildings are preserved for centuries more to enjoy.

About PPM

Precision Property Measurements is a full service As-Built Survey and Drafting/Modelling firm who utilizes 3D laser scanning and traditional measuring tools for historic preservation, home remodels, commercial properties, and national brand expansion. PPM serves all 50 U.S. states and has over 17 years of experience in capturing precise, existing building measurements.  For more information on our historic preservation As-Built services or other surveys, please reach out to us at office@ppmco.net, or visit https://ppmco.net/quote for quick and easy quotes.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

Sources:

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/notre-dame-fire-destruction-futurehttps://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/notre-dame-spire-collapsed

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a27210982/notre-dame-cathedral-paris-restoration-history/

https://www.dw.com/en/frances-macron-vows-to-rebuild-notre-dame-cathedral-within-5-years/a-48342036

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/travel-guide/a27118099/emmanuel-macron-notre-dame-cathedral-restored-in-five-years/

https://www.tampabay.com/tampa/laser-scanning-may-help-preserve-historic-jackson-house-digitally-at-least-before-it-collapses-20190219/

https://www.tampabay.com/tampa/laser-scanning-may-help-preserve-historic-jackson-house-digitally-at-least-before-it-collapses-20190219/

https://www.tampabay.com/hillsborough/watch-beams-were-installed-to-shore-up-the-historic-jackson-house-now-they-may-hasten-its-fall-20190424/

https://blog.hexagongeosystems.com/measure-what-you-treasure-laser-scanning-for-heritage-conservation/https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/3d-laser-scanning-heritage/heag155-3d-laser-scanning/

http://www.castlesfortsbattles.co.uk/north_east/belsay_castle.htmlhttp://www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle/2018/02/13/119744/filipino-specialists-in-3d-laser-scanning-take-a-swipe-at-preserving-unesco-world-heritage-sites/

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3 Ways to Simplify Your Merchandising Process

Competition in the retail space is fierce. Ensuring the right product in the right place, and at the right price and time is key to every retail brand’s success. Savvy merchandisers with a simplified and streamlined merchandising process have the best chance of growing sales and maintaining the competitive edge. Here’s why…

90% of information sent to the brain is visual and 95% of our decision making process is subconscious, leaving only 5% to the conscious mind. Consumers subconsciously make purchasing decisions based on the visual and organizational layout of a retail store. Merchandisers are the brains behind the revenue-driving operation. They are the analytical, strategic, design savvy professionals who carefully plan and organize the customer experience to increase store traffic and grow sales.

These key players perform a crucial role in the success of retail brands, and their jobs are not always easy – especially with quick seasonal turnarounds, high competition, and hundreds of locations from coast to coast.

HERE ARE 3 TIPS AND TRICKS TO SIMPLIFY THE REMERCHANDISING PROCESS FOR MULTI-LOCATION BRANDS

 

1. Harness Your Data

Make data-driven decisions to consistently improve sales. Plan, organize, gather, and analyze your data before you start the remerchandising process. This ongoing activity will give you the best insights for profitability in the planning phase. Determine the most important metrics and use Sales and Observational Data to drive product placement. Know which items are likely to increase sales before you place them.

2 types of important data:

  • Sales Data is data gathered from your POS system. Is there a particular wood flooring that is selling quickly? Where is it currently shelved? Would moving the flooring to an eye-level shelf or endcap help drive even more sales? Test it with a split placement. Compare your sales data to observational data to learn more. Then test the new product placement against the old product placement to get a deeper understanding.
  • Observational Data is data gathered by paying attention to shelf placement and product flow. One example of this is testing a product on a shelf versus an endcap display in half of your stores. Let’s imagine you are a floor and tile store like Floor & Decor. Take a new tile design that is expected to be popular for the season and display it in your flooring section. In 50% of your stores, display the tiles on a pop-up endcap that adds a visual “wow” factor. In the other 50% of your stores, simply place the tiles on shelves in an aisle. Combining sales data with observational data, do you see an increase in endcap tile sales that make special endcap displays worthwhile? Or, is the difference in sales marginal and not worth the extra effort? Is there a product that would be better suited for the endcap? Observational data helps you make better, more informed decisions.

Combine your data analysis into an easy-to-view report or presentation, so you and your team can reference your findings throughout the merchandising process.

 

2. Keep an Eye on the Competition

Are you maintaining a watchful eye on your competitors? You should be. You can learn a lot quickly from their product placement, fixture displays and designs, and remerchandising timelines. Documenting your competitors’ strategies over time can reveal new ways to streamline your process that you may not have already considered. It may also expose some strategies you’re better off avoiding. Make a list of your top three competitors and make a conscious effort to check in and record your observations.

Some of the key strategies you may want to note:

  • How often do they roll out new merchandise?
  • Which products do they highlight on endcaps or special displays/fixtures?
  • Which products do they place on eye-level shelves?
  • When do they run sales to clear store inventory?
  • What is their lighting style?
  • What kind of collaborations or endorsements are they running?

 

3. Maintain Up to Date As-Built Plans

Help your merchandising team stay informed of store layout remotely. Big retail brands with nationwide locations have a geographic challenge in merchandising each store to its full capacity. Teams need a clear view of the current layout of each store location to make actionable and data-driven decisions.

Does your company have a clear, up to date set of As-Built Plans of each store location?  If not, you’re likely missing valuable space you could be leveraging to highlight your best products and increase sales. Accurate Floor Plans are the minimum As-Built Survey type your team should have on hand at all times.

The most common As-Built Drawings used by retail brands include:

  • Floor Plans – Commonly used by merchandisers, brand architects, and construction professionals to plan store layout and construction
  • Elevations – Commonly used by merchandisers, brand architects, and construction professionals to plan store layout and construction. The marketing team may also leverage these plans to gather window dimensions for promotional signs and banners.
  • Reflected Ceiling Plan – These plans are, as they sound, a reflection of the ceiling. They are leveraged by marketers to understand ceiling layout when hanging promotional material from above. They may be used by merchandisers to highlight store sections and enhance the customer experience.
  • Fixture Plans – These plans provide merchandisers a better understanding of built-in and moveable racks, gondolas, and displays.

Acquiring and maintaining current As-Built store layouts for all of your locations is an incredibly valuable asset. Partnering with a trustworthy As-Built partner who can streamline your store plans nationwide can substantially save time, increase efficiency, and drive revenue.

Although merchandising across hundreds of storefronts may seem like a daunting task, streamlining your process using these tips and tricks can alleviate a lot of stress and prepare you for smart, profitable decisions and a smooth process.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about Multi-Site As-Built Survey programs?

About Precision Property Measurements

PPM is the leading provider of retail As-Built survey and drafting services in the United States. We provide As-Built surveys (measurements on existing properties) including Floor Plans, Elevations, Reflected Ceiling Plans, and more to architects, designers, and contractors who are transforming retail space. We are the first step in a smooth remodel or renovation and a trusted partner among some of the biggest brands including Floor & Decor, Chipotle, and McDonald’s. Learn more about our Multi-Site As-Built services here.