Time Travel with Digital Reality Technology

Hexagon's Digital Twin of Qutub Shahi Tombs

Autonomous flying laser scanning, Leica BLK2FLY flys over the Qutub Shahi Tombs in Hyderabad, India
Author: Ruchi Saxena, Marketing Communications Manager 

Located at the heart of Hyderabad, India, the Qutub Shahi Tombs are architectural marvels and timeless symbols of the city's rich cultural heritage. Dating back to the illustrious 16th century, these tombs, with their majestic domes, intricate arches, and ornate stonework, hold within them the stories of a bygone era.

As Hyderabad flourishes into a hustling technology hub and evolves into a modern metropolis, preserving its heritage becomes vital for future generations to cherish and learn from.

Recognising the importance of preserving the legacy for future generations, Hexagon has taken up the mantle and created a pilot as a full-blown digital replica for the Government of Telangana in India. This initiative aims to ignite discussion on safeguarding India's rich heritage while showcasing the data-rich capabilities of Hexagon's digital reality solutions, inspiring hope for the future of heritage preservation.

The digital twin of these tombs not only captures their current state for archaeologists and conservationists, but it also allows visitors to immerse themselves in the history for years to come, inspiring hope for preserving of our cultural heritage.

Scanning with the Leica BLK360 laser scanning and the Cyclone FIELD 360 in-field application at Qutub Shahi Tombs


Bringing every detail to life with multi-sensors

Various cutting-edge reality capture sensors and software were deployed, each with unique capabilities to achieve the final outcome. These include the Leica RTC360, Leica BLK360, Leica BLK2GO and Leica BLK2FLY, coupled with their respective in-field software apps for immediate data visualisation with raw data processed in Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS and Reality Cloud Studio, powered by HxDR. These high-tech instruments, celebrated for their precision and efficiency, were meticulously selected to ensure this mission’s seamless capture of 3D data with unparalleled accuracy.

Scanning with the Leica RTC360 at Qutub Shahi Tombs, India

The autonomous flying laser scanner, BLK2FLY, equipped with advanced obstacle avoidance, proved invaluable for scanning inaccessible areas like the spherical roof of the tomb and hard-to-reach areas with remarkable precision. Meanwhile, the RTC360, renowned for its superior range capabilities, expertly captured the intricate details of the four facades, each adorned with an arcade boasting ornamental motifs, small minarets embellished with floral designs, and the towering 40-metre-high interior. The handheld imaging laser scanner, BLK2GO, known for its compact size and lightweight design, excelled at obtaining comprehensive contextual scans of the tomb's base and surrounding area. For the detailed internal scans of the underground cellar, the BLK360 outperformed with its exceptional speed and image quality. Leica GS18 I, a survey-grade GNSS RTK rover with visual positioning, helped capture the site in images and measure points for Georeferencing.

These advanced instruments, renowned for their precision and efficiency, captured 10.7 billion points of 3D data with unparalleled accuracy, even in the most inaccessible areas.

An aerial image of Qutub Shahi Tombs, India

Transforming data into possibilities

The raw data captured by our instruments were imported into Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS for refinement, eliminating extraneous information and generating precise point cloud files. This refined data served as the foundation for creating captivating and immersive 3D models in Reality Cloud Studio. Powered by HxDR, our digital reality cloud-native platform, these models are tailored to enhance augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences.

A digital twin of Qutub Shahi Tombs in the digital platform, Hexagon Reality Cloud Studio, powered by HxDR

Journey beyond - enhancing the digital twin experience

The site’s digital model will enable data-driven decision-making, real-time analytics, visualisations and simulations. 

In the upcoming phase, possibilities are being explored to enhance the digital twins further by creating immersive Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences. This immersive experience will allow visitors to experience Qutub Shahi Tombs in a new way, potentially bring the tombs to viewers around the world, and help conversationalists plan preservation projects.

The digital twin was presented to the state government, a significant step in our project by Paolo Guglielmini, CEO of Hexagon AB, as part of Hexagon's Digital Heritage for Smart Cities project. Paolo emphasisd its importance, stating that the creation of this digital twin demonstrates how forward-looking innovation and reality technologies can be used to protect our most valued connections to the past while advancing smart cities for our future.

Contact us about Laser Scanning

Get in contact with us for more information about our laser scanning portfolio. 
Get in contact with us for more information about our laser scanning portfolio. 

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