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The technology of laser scanning is very advanced but not so difficult to understand. Laser scanning is divided into two activities: field work and data post processing. Laser light is reflected off physical objects, and the distance to the scanner is determined to within a few millimeters. Also, the direction of the light emitted is registered. This calculates to a point position x, y, z in a local coordinate system. The scanner collects thousands of coordinate point positions per second, which together make a large point collection, known as a "point cloud".

Putting several point clouds together we can create a point cloud representation of the scanned object's geometry. This point cloud is very accurate, with a single point accuracy within a few millimeters. It can be a deliverable itself or the raw material for creation of a corresponding as-built documentation (e.g. 3D CAD models, 2D drawings).