Survey of Intiwatana, Machu Picchu using the Optech ILRIS-3D

Creator(s): Katie Simon

Year: 2009


The Intiwatana (the hitching post of the sun) is a large carved stone located in the Sacred District of Machu Picchu, in Peru. The stone is thought to have served as a calendar. Its four corners are oriented to the four cardinal directions, and its shadows can be used to measure both equinoxes and solstices.

The Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST), University of Arkansas conducted high density surveys of the Intiwatana as part of a UCLA field school in 2009. During the field school, students acquired the 3D survey data 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 Intiwatana:

Cite this Record

Survey of Intiwatana, Machu Picchu using the Optech ILRIS-3D. Katie Simon. Fayetteville, AR: Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies. 2009 ( tDAR id: 391570) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8Z60PXK


Object #:

Survey Date (start):

Aug 11, 2009

Survey Date (end):

Aug 11, 2009


Scan data was acquired at dusk/night to avoid having people in the resulting datasets.

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 format, 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 1550 (Period of occupation)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -72.641; min lat: -13.357 ; max long: -72.382; max lat: -13.104 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Katie Simon

Contributor(s): Malcolm Williamson; Snow Winters; Angie Payne

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Intiwatana_mesh.jpg 42.51kb Oct 10, 2013 Oct 10, 2013 8:05:07 AM Public
Polygonal mesh dataset for the Intiwatana, Machu Picchu 68.43mb Aug 6, 2014 7:42:47 AM Public