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Computer Aided Recording Tools automate the creation of a Site Information System

Techniques employed for data collection and model
generation for architectural heritage sites in Canada
Royal Suite, Rideau Hall - Ottawa, Ontario
Skoki Ski Lodge - Banff, Alberta

A report on the tools and techniques used to collect measurements in the field and integrate them into an overall site information system

Much of the time of a restoration architect or heritage recorder is spent, on site analysing the building and collecting photos, data and measurements which will be used later to create reports and drawings. The computer revolution has provided at least partial solutions to these tasks but, so far, has addressed only to the individual components. Compiling an complete record of the structure is still a mostly manual procedure and the organization of the material for archiving and future monitoring of the site is seldom completed.

A suite of software tools, currently under development, tries to address these problems - first by helping to structure the on-site survey process so that more consistent data is collected, and then, by automatically creating a 2D or 3D CAD model from the resulting database. We do this on a laptop computer, so that the model can be compared with reality and faulty or missing measurements corrected before the recording team leaves the site.

While the software supports virtually any source of geometric information the point collection system which will be described uses an electronic theodolite with a visible laser EDM which, not requiring a reflector, offers fast data collection, up to 4 points per minute, and has more than adequate precision for most architectural objects.

However, more significant than the automatic drafting is the fact that this combination of database and CAD drawing is linked, allowing queries of associated data by clicking on an object inside Autocad or the assembly of a drawing based on a database query of object characteristics.

Case studies involving two Canadian Heritage sites recorded in this way will be used to illustrate the presentation.

Royal Suite, Rideau Hall - Ottawa, Ontario

Skoki Ski Lodge - Banff, Alberta

Last change: 25 September, 1997 (Steve Nickerson)