Survey of the Temple of the Sun, Machu Picchu with the Optech ILRIS-3D

Creator(s): Katie Simon

Year: 2009


The Temple of the Sun is a monument at the world-renowned archaeological site of Machu Picchu, in Peru. The structure is believed to be an astronomical observatory used to mark the winter solstice.

The Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST), University of Arkansas conducted high density surveys of the Temple of the Sun 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.

Cite this Record

Survey of the Temple of the Sun, Machu Picchu with the Optech ILRIS-3D. Katie Simon. Fayetteville, AR: Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies. 2009 ( tDAR id: 391571) ; doi:10.6067/XCV808665B


Object #:

Survey Date (start):

Jul 31, 2009

Survey Date (end):

Aug 1, 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 ASCII 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: -72.692; min lat: -13.406 ; max long: -72.332; max lat: -13.077 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Katie Simon

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

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Temple_Sun_mesh.jpg 92.28kb Oct 10, 2013 Oct 10, 2013 8:04:04 AM Public
Polygonal mesh dataset for the Temple of the Sun, Machu Picchu 146.20mb Aug 6, 2014 7:44:36 AM Public