Swindon Borough Council:
Faringdon Road 3D Data Capture

Handheld data capture— swindon borough council, rapid 3D floor plan production.

Swindon council logo


Swindon Borough Council (SBC) have thousands of buildings that they maintain and manage across the borough. The majority of these buildings (large & small) do not have building/floor plans in 2D or 3D, digitally or as hard copy.

There is a need from the council to create a digital library of floor plans for its portfolio of properties in order to streamline procurement, maintenance and management. Having 3D data provides the opportunity for engaging marketing material to fill empty buildings, that are losing the council £1.2m per annum in rental yield.

data capture


Head of Property, at Swindon Borough Council, commissioned CartoConsult to undertake a data capture exercise on 1-3 Faringdon Road. This set of buildings are derelict and empty causing a considerable drain on council budgets.

To understand what they can value the buildings at and indeed what type of use they can be converted to, SBC needed to know the building measurements.

Being impartial to the survey market of products and solutions, CartoConsult were able to recommend and undertake a ‘Rapid Measured Building Survey’ (RMBS).


To undertake such a survey, CartoConsult used their Zebedee, Rapid Handheld Laser Scanner, that enables us to capture measured 3D spaces, internal and external at the speed of walk.

Intrigued to see the equipment in action, the Property department (and some others!) came to watch the data capture take place. At walking speed, we were able to capture all openings, doors, walls, windows and stairways in 3D within an impressive range of 30m. The ZEB1 shoots out 40,000 measured points per second from its iconic ‘nodding’ head. Three, 3 storey buildings took us roughly 60 minutes. Extremely quick for the size of the building and for multiple floors.


From this smart 3D measured point cloud, we were able to undertake rapid floor plan production using the latest 3D CAD software and output in multiple formats including DWG and PDF for the Property department.

As added value, we were also able to create an LOD200 3D model. Again, this was available in multiple formats for the council to handover to interior design and construction and renovation companies. This saved them having to commission multiple costly surveys from contractors.

CartoConsult were also able to expose the 3D model through gamification WebGL technology, directly through a web browser. No software or plugin downloads. Fantastic to help them market the empty space to potential investors and real estate companies.

Dave Rowe

Dave Rowe, Principle Developer, The Carto Group.

About the Author

Dave is an open data advocate, always looking to deliver as much value as possible from clients data.

Microsoft Certified in cloud Azure stacks, Dave is an awesome GIS Software Engineer that takes web GIS applications to the highest level.

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