Laser Tool Creates “blueprints” of Archeology Sites

Posted on July 25, 2007  Comments (2)

Laser mapping tool traces ancient sites

Born in northern Iraq in 1940, Kacyra developed this laser-mapping tool several years ago to solve a problem in construction — keeping accurate records of the real dimensions of factories and power plants when they deviate from the architect’s plans.

The 67-year-old sold his invention in 2001 and now works with his wife, Barbara, to get the $100,000 tool into the hands of archaeological researchers who are using it to create electronic blueprints so accurate that scientists sitting at computer terminals can glean the secrets of ancient monuments remotely. “We both loved the ancient-built environment and we wanted to put high technology to use saving ancient places,” Kacyra said.

Today the Kacyras have created a Web site, at, that allows anyone to see these blueprintlike images. But that’s just the start. Down the line they would like to superimpose real graphics on top of these geospatial maps — recreating ancient worlds onscreen.

“Using the latest laser-scanning technology, CyArk collects the most accurate 3D model of cultural heritage sites, stores them safely and provides them freely to the world.” More on the laser tool:

Kacyra soon married and in 1968 moved to the Bay Area to begin a career in construction, which reached an inflection point in 1989, when he sold a civil engineering firm he had co-founded.

It was after the sale of his engineering firm that Kacyra began the work that eventually spawned the laser mapping tool. Throughout his years in civil engineering, Kacyra had been repeatedly called upon to create what are called “as-built” blueprints of big industrial operations like refineries, so safety managers could know the precise locations of critical components.

“We sent scads of people into the plants with tape measures,” he said, to figure out exactly where things were to create these post-construction blueprints. So in 1992, Kacyra started a firm, Cyra Technologies, to make those measurements more efficiently. Knowing what he wanted but not how to do it, he recruited UC Berkeley-trained engineer Jerry Dimsdale as his chief technology officer.

2 Responses to “Laser Tool Creates “blueprints” of Archeology Sites”

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