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New panoramic photographs of CERN

A total of 3 588 new panoramic photographs of the Meyrin and Prévessin sites, taken at the end of 2020, are now available on CERN’s GIS portal


The SCE (Site and Civil Engineering) department undertook an extensive photography campaign on the Meyrin and Prévessin sites at the end of 2020 in order to update the exterior photographs in the GIS (geographic information system) portal that were taken in 2013 in collaboration with Google Street View.

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View of the Main Building taken during the photography campaign in November 2020. The panoramic photographs can be viewed in the GIS portal by clicking on the “Alternative views” button in the top right-hand corner. (Image: CERN)

During the exercise, the photographs were taken every five to ten metres, as opposed to every 15 metres in 2013, from a vehicle equipped with a navigation system featuring a trajectory tracking function, as well as seven cameras and a laser imaging, detection and ranging (LiDAR) device. A total of 26 kilometres were covered on the Meyrin site, as well as 13 kilometres on the Prévessin site, which was not included in the initial Street View images. The new photographs, which have been assembled as panoramic images using an application developed by the SCE-SAM and EN-ACE groups, are already available in the GIS portal but access is restricted to CERN account holders. There you will also find photographs of the inside of buildings taken in 2017 and 2018 and images of the underground infrastructure (tunnels and LHC experiments) taken by the EN-ACE group from 2014 onwards.

The laser scanner used in the exercise also allowed highly precise remote sensing data to be collected in the form of point clouds with a resolution of around 500 points per m2. These can be used in place of a topographic survey in construction projects, for example, or to produce a model of an existing building, saving precious time.

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An image of Route Arago reproduced in the form of a point cloud based on LiDAR data. (Image: CERN)