Skip to Content
Computing

This digital scan of Notre Dame offers hope for its restoration after the fire

April 16, 2019

The devastating blaze at the 850-year-old cathedral in Paris is now under control. The fact that its interior and exterior have been digitally 3D-mapped means the iconic building could be restored to its former glory.

The scans: An exact digital replica of the building was captured by a (now deceased) architectural historian, Andrew Tallon, in 2015. He used lasers to map the entire cathedral, measuring the time the laser takes to reach the target and return to create a very precise image. He described the process in this video. The scans he painstakingly captured will be crucial to any future rebuilding efforts.

A major project: France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, is leading a huge fund-raising effort to go toward restoring Notre Dame. Hundreds of millions of euros have already been pledged, thanks to some of France’s richest families.

What needs restoring? The cathedral’s spire, which was built in 1860, fell during the fire. There was also extensive damage to its roof, which includes wood from as far back as 1160, making it one of the oldest roofs of its kind anywhere in the world. Thankfully, many of the objects inside Notre Dame were saved by the 400 or so firefighters who tackled the blaze.

Sign up here for our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

Deep Dive

Computing

Conceptual illustration of quantum computing circuity, in multiple colors
Conceptual illustration of quantum computing circuity, in multiple colors

Quantum computing has a hype problem

Quantum computing startups are all the rage, but it’s unclear if they’ll be able to produce anything of use in the near future.

winning team for Pwn2own 2022
winning team for Pwn2own 2022

These hackers showed just how easy it is to target critical infrastructure

Two Dutch researchers have won a major hacking championship by hitting the software that runs the world’s power grids, gas pipelines, and more. It was their easiest challenge yet.

child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev
child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev

Russia hacked an American satellite company one hour before the Ukraine invasion

The attack on Viasat showcases cyber’s emerging role in modern warfare.

A rescuers search for bodies under the rubble of a building destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia's Invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 11, 2022. (Photo by Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via AP)
A rescuers search for bodies under the rubble of a building destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia's Invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 11, 2022. (Photo by Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via AP)

Russian hackers tried to bring down Ukraine’s power grid to help the invasion

As Russia’s ground war stalls, hackers attempted to cause a blackout for two million people.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.