How Rapa Nui is Documented From a Distance

The digital tools being used remotely to combat climate change

Many of the important archaeological sites on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are found along the coast. But as sea levels rise, they become more and more threatened by erosion.

Local experts are turning to 3D technology to help them understand the condition they’re in and prepare for the future.

These technologies can document the structures remotely so the sensitive archaeology isn’t disturbed.

Laser scanning is one of the tools that islanders are using to create high resolution 3D models of the sites from a safe distance. 

The laser scanner data is combined with thousands of images that accurately document the colors and textures of the sites, including caves with rock art. 

The resulting information is a powerful tool that allows site managers to better protect and manage the many sites under their care. 

This helps locals ensure these sites are around for future generations. 

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