Survey of the Main (Principal) Temple at Machu Picchu using Optech ILRIS-3D

Creator(s): Katie Simon

Year: 2009


The main (or principle) temple at the world-renowned archaeological site Machu Picchu is a rectangular structure with three standing walls. The temple is located north of the site's sacred square.

The Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST), University of Arkansas conducted high density surveys of the main temple as part of a UCLA field school in 2009. During the field school, students acquired the 3D survey data with the Optech ILRIS 3D while learning about different mapping and documentation standards. CAST researchers completed the additional data processing.

Visit YouTube to view a fly-through of the 3D scan of the main temple at Machu Picchu:

Cite this Record

Survey of the Main (Principal) Temple at Machu Picchu using Optech ILRIS-3D. Katie Simon. Fayetteville, AR: Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies. 2009 ( tDAR id: 391548) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8KW5GX1


Object #:

Survey Date (start):

Aug 9, 2011

Survey Date (end):

Aug 9, 2011


All scans were acquired at dusk/night to avoid having people in the resulting dataset

Scanner Details:

Optech ILRIs-3D, Serial No. 10162, meters

Company Name:

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies

Turntable Used:


RGB Data Capture Information:

NA. Color information was not acquired for the scans however intensity data is automatically acquired with the ILRIS 3D.

Data Resolution:


Number of Scans:


Control Data Filename:


Planimetric Map Filename:


Description of Final Datasets for Archive:

Original scans (unedited, prior to registration) in e57 format, transformation matrices for each scan, Registered point cloud in ASCII, Polygonal mesh in OBJ format. Note: Prior to registration all scans were edited to remove extraneous data. The edited scans were imported into Polyworks IMAlign (and gridded) and then registered. The transformation matrices from the edited scans were exported and are provided here with the original, unedited scans. The polygonal mesh contains supplemental data from the 2005 Machu Picchu Site Survey using the Optech ILRIS-3D.

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1400 to 1500 (Period of occupation)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -72.632; min lat: -13.325 ; max long: -72.351; max lat: -13.098 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Katie Simon; Angie Payne

Contributor(s): Snow Winters; Malcolm Williamson

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Main_temple_mesh.jpg 51.11kb Oct 10, 2013 Oct 10, 2013 8:01:08 AM Public
Polygonal mesh dataset for the Main Temple, Machu Picchu 140.82mb Aug 6, 2014 7:44:17 AM Public