Billingsley, Andrew Jacob (2020-05). Connecting the Dots: Choosing an Appropriate Terrestrial Laser Scanning Hardware and Software System to Document Three Early 20th Century Buildings on the Campus of Texas A&M University. Master's Thesis.
The use of three-dimensional laser scanning systems in creating high quality documentation of cultural heritage sites and structures in the form of point cloud data sets has become common practice in recent decades as the technology has advanced. As with many other technologies users often make the assumption that the newest, or latest, model is always best suited for the job at hand. Utilizing three historic buildings from the early 20th century that are located on the main campus of Texas A&M University this study questions that assumption by conducting a comparative analysis of data sets collected by three terrestrial laser scanning hardware systems that have been released in recent years by a single manufacturer (FARO Technologies) with the objective of determining if there are significant observable differences in the resulting point cloud data sets when all of the data sets are processed and registered by the same software program (FARO SCENE 2018.0.0.648). Through the visual assessment of each point cloud in the study, the analysis of empirical data in the form of registration reports provided by the software, and calculated differences of selected measurements within the point cloud data, this study indicates that there is no significant difference in the consistency of the resulting point cloud data sets based on the age and model of the hardware system being utilized in collecting the data as long as the data sets are processed using a recent version of an appropriate software program.