Many years ago, visitors to Stonehenge used to be able to touch and even climb the stones that are this mysterious monument in the middle of England's Wiltshire Downs. For a long time now though, visitors have been fenced away from the artifacts in an attempt to prevent wear-and-tear and vandalism.
In a further attempt to be able to track erosion and subsidence, English Heritage, which runs the site, has now had the monument scanned and converted into 3D data. These models are also ready to be used to increase public understanding, allow experts to work virtually on the site and can be used for reconstruction purposes.
Consultants from Greenhatch Group were contracted to scan and build the data. This was achieved using scanners from Zoller+Frolich UK and Leica GeoSystems, reading the data into Geomagic Studio to achieve precision of +/- 0.5 mm.
In September 2011, Karl Matthews, VP of Product Management at Geomagic, managed to take a moment to pursue history himself at Stonehenge
A screen grab of the 3D animation currently on display at the English Heritage web site (click image to go to video)