Laser scanning has become a common method of collecting large quantities of precise spatial data in a short period of time. As a result, laser scanners are a common piece of equipment among surveying, video, and archaeology firms with limited on-site time.
Within minutes, scanners accumulate millions of individual point measurements. After that, the measurements are plotted in a single XYZ coordinate system to create a 'point cloud' of the object's external surface. These points can be geo-referenced and converted into a global reference system with the addition of GPS data.
Using popular features, multiple data clouds obtained from various perspectives can be combined, or "registered," to create a single 3D dataset. A house, for example, may be scanned to include all external walls and then registered together to include scan data from the inside.