We’ve modelled a Pokestop!


If you hadn’t heard of Pokémon when it first became a worldwide phenomenon in 1995, you’ve surely heard about the recent release of the new app everyone seems to be talking about, Pokémon GO.

Pokémon GO is a free-to-play, location-based, augmented reality mobile game, making use of GPS and the camera of compatible mobile devices, to allow gamers to capture, battle and train virtual creatures called Pokémon.

Since its release earlier this month, Pokémon GO has been downloaded at least 15 million times worldwide, but recent data suggests that the number could be even higher than that, seeing 21 million daily active users from the July 11th.

Within the game, gamers walk around a map that’s just like a google map on a mobile phone, the streets, alleys and points of interest are almost identical. However, the points of interest on this map are known as Pokestops.

Pokestops are stationed at important cultural spots, such as statues, public buildings, or other types of locations.

Now… All of this might seem a bit “non-survey-related” for a surveyor’s blog. However, when members of our team have been playing Pokémon GO, they noticed that we have actually scanned one of Liverpool’s many Pokestops, and for a very special reason…

If you’ve ever ventured in and around Liverpool University, for Poke-hunting purposes (or otherwise), you may have noticed a World War One monument in Abercromby Square.  This monument was gifted to the University, placing it in a great location for people to come and see it, and to attend related annual memorial services.

It is a monument in honour of Captain Noel Chavasse (the only WWI double VC winner), who in 1916, as a surgeon-lieutenant, rescued wounded men from no-man’s land under heavy fire, saving the lives or more than 20 men. He was awarded with his first Victoria Cross for this act of bravery.  His second Victoria Cross was awarded after he continued to rescue and treat men during a conflict in Belgium, despite being mortally wounded himself.  Noel Chavasse died on the 4th August 1917 at the age of 32 and is buried in a World War One cemetery in Belgium.

The monument, created by local sculptor Tom Murphy, depicts Captain Noel Chavasse and a stretcher bearer from the Liverpool Scottish regiment attending a wounded soldier.  The statue is commonly referred to as either the ‘Chavasse Statue’, or the ‘Liverpool Heroes Statue’.

Here’s where we come in… A few months ago, our Managing Director, Andy Roberts attended a lecture about Noel Chavasse in Woolton Village, Liverpool.  Not knowing much about Chavasse, his comrades, or his backstory before attending the lecture, Andy was fascinated to hear about the soldier’s story and Chavasse’s achievements.

“The story of Noel Chavasse and the brave men of the city of Liverpool is truly remarkable. The statue provides those men with the gratitude and recognition that they undoubtedly deserve. Because of how fascinating I found Chavasse’s story, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to produce an accurate, digital representation of the monument utilising some of the great technology and software we use on a daily basis” said Andy.

To create the meshed model, we scanned the monument using our Leica P20 laser scanner and included high resolution HDR photography from our iStar camera.

After the data was registered in Leica Cyclone, we used 3DReshaper to create and refine an initial surface mesh.  We refined the mesh by taking points from the point cloud and applying them to the mesh, refining it with the point cloud image and adding colour.

A project like this is fascinating to work on and it’s incredible to see a statue such as The Liverpool Heroes statue come to life as a 3D digital model.  We look forward to presenting the finished scan and video to those who contributed and helped build the statue, and we’re excited to become involved with more projects just like this one.

Working on a similar project and think you could use our help? Get in touch today!