WATCH: Forth bridges in all their 3D glory

The scanning project was one of the most challenging in the worldThe scanning project was one of the most challenging in the world
The scanning project was one of the most challenging in the world
The bridges over the River Forth have been captured in 3D for use in interactive games, apps and virtual tours of the famous landmarks.

The minutely detailed scans have amassed billions of dimensionally accurate points on the structures of the Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge and the almost complete Queensferry Crossing.

The £300,000 project was launched in 2014 and is being hailed as one of the challenging and complex 3D scans undertaken anywhere in the world.

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Transport Scotland has now granted further funding of £425,000 to enable Scottish digital heritage experts to start work on learning games, augmented reality apps, real-time interactive models for virtual headset tours and video fly-throughs for release next year – aimed at developing STEM skills among pupils in Scottish schools.

Transport Scotland funded the project on behalf of the Forth Bridges Forum and the laser scanning and digital development work has been carried out by the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV), a partnership between The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation and Historic Environment Scotland.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The Forth Bridges represent Scotland’s industrial past, creative present and our dynamic and innovative future. They are the pinnacle of world-leading design and engineering and it’s right that we conserve and protect them and also seek to inspire and educate the young engineers of the future.

“The possibilities for this comprehensive digital data are almost endless. Our focus is education and creating learning tools to educate and inspire the young engineers of the future.”

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Alastair Rawlinson, head of data acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art and CDDV said: “Laser scanning each of the three bridges has posed unique challenges for our team. We have had to use our combined experience, gained through digitally documenting globally iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House and Mount Rushmore to create innovative methodologies to allow us to capture these incredible bridges in great detail.

“We will now use this specialised 3D dataset to develop interactive learning resources based on advanced gaming technologies and virtual reality to make the information accessible to school children across Scotland and beyond.”

To see footage of the 3D scans visit