Tidworth Garrison: building recording

Tidworth Garrison Barracks were primarily developed in the last decade of the 19th and first decade of the 20th centuries.
In advance of redevelopment, Wessex Archaeology were commissioned by Aspire Defence to undertake recording of the barracks at Tidworth.

Recording an entire complex of buildings

Due to the scale of the task in hand a combination approach was used which involved an initial photographic survey of every external and internal elevation of every building plus a measured survey using Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS). Selected buildings were then recorded using direct survey techniques, specifically measured survey using Total Station Theodolites (TST) linked to CAD systems.
This combination approach provided a complete 3D record of all the buildings, captured using TLS, supported by a complete photographic record and detailed drawings of specific buildings of interest.
At the time (2007), this was one of the larger TLS projects undertaken for heritage purposes, covering an area of 0.75 km2 including 37 buildings and resulting an a point cloud containing 25 billion 3D measurements, over 18Gb of survey data. Due to the scale of the survey work, the laser scanning was undertaken at relatively low resolution (10-25mm) which was why detailed recording of specific buildings using direct survey techniques was also applied.


TLS is particularly effective for recording large scale complexes of buildings where other methods such as rectified photography or direct survey techniques would have been unfeasible in a short timescale. Massive volumes of data can be produced but Wessex Archaeology have a range of specialist tools and considerable experience in dealing with such large datasets to produce a range of products from TLS data.