Visualizing the Unique: Lidar and Three-Dimensional Modeling as a Preservation Tool for NHPA Compliance

Author(s): Cameron Townsend

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Archaeologies of the Eastern Jemez Mountain Range and the Pajarito Plateau: Interagency Collaboration for Management of Cultural Landscapes" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires federal agencies to consider the effects of actions carried out on historic properties under their jurisdiction. In the instance of an undertaking that would diminish or remove important characteristics from a historic building, action must be taken to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any potential adverse effects. For federal agencies with aging infrastructure that must support ongoing mission-related work, mitigating adverse effects through documentation and consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer is often the only available preservation option. Many federal agencies facing this dilemma have especially complex and unique properties, such as highly specialized industrial and scientific facilities, that can be difficult to conceptualize to non-technical audiences. Effectively documenting these unusual facilities requires devising especially creative solutions. This poster highlights the challenges and benefits of documenting a particularly complex historic property from Los Alamos National Laboratory – a 5,000 ton, 41-foot tall, Cold War-era industrial press – using lidar scans, original drawings and manuals, photographs, and a variety of point cloud processing, 3D modeling, and animation software programs.

Cite this Record

Visualizing the Unique: Lidar and Three-Dimensional Modeling as a Preservation Tool for NHPA Compliance. Cameron Townsend. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450794)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 26162