Chichen Itza, Mexico

General Attributes
Project NameChichen Itza
Spatial DataDownload (Links to all available data types will be emailed)
Point Cloud Viewer
Data Bounds (approx.)

Data Types

Data Type Size Device Name Device Type
LiDAR - Terrestrial4.76 GBLeica SS1 Time of Flight Scanner
Site DescriptionThe ancient Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, located on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula about 50 miles inland south of the Caribbean coastline, represent the remains of one of the largest and most powerful city states of the pre-Columbian Americas. While the fully-restored monumental core of Chichén Itzá's archaeological zone covers approximately 5 square kilometers and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, the estimated extent of dense urban development at the city's peak is thought to have reached 25 square kilometers. However, much of these surrounding ruins have not been excavated and are currently covered with a mixture of dense forest and farms. Chichén Itzá translates as "At the Mouth of the Well of the Itza" in Yucatec Mayan, a reference to the nearby Sacred Cenote, or sinkhole, where offerings were made to various deities and from which the city derived much of its water supply. Chichén Itzá was a cosmopolitan city that contained monuments and buildings in a range of different architectural styles. This range is reflective of both local Yucatecan styles and influence from several prominent Mesoamerican cultural groups and clans that were drawn to the city as a regional center during its long history of occupation.
Project DescriptionIn 2007, the Oakland, California-based Chabot Space and Science Center, in conjunction with InSight Digital and ArtsLab, embarked upon a mission to produce high definition laser and photographic data from the ruins of Chichén Itzá's civic core for its ambitious Maya Skies Project. CyArk was called upon to spearhead the mission for its expertise in the digital documentation and heritage fields. In October of the same year CyArk assembled a documentation team to be sent to the Yucatán, in conjunction with Michigan partners Metco Services. Over the course of three weeks, a highly detailed data set was produced which included terrestrial LiDAR, close-range laser scanning, panoramic photography, HDR photography, and traditional survey. Dozens of scans were produced from a Leica Geosystems Scan Station laser scanner, including 37 scans of the Caracol structure alone, which was the most complex structure and the main focus of the project. Six other important structures in the civic core were also thoroughly scanned, including El Castillo. A followup expedition was conducted by Epic Scan to record the Balankanche Cave. The entire project was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Google Arts & CultureView exhibit
Additional InformationLearn more
Collection Date2005-10-24 to 2005-11-12
Publication Date2018-04-16
License TypeCC BY-NC-SA
CollectorsCyArk , Metco Services , Epic Scan
FundersNational Science Foundation
PartnersChabot Space and Science Center , Centre Nacional de la Recherche Scientifique, Western Thebes French Archaeological Mission (MAFTO) , INSIGHT
Site AuthorityInstituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia
CyArk 2018: Chichen Itza - LiDAR - Terrestrial . Collected by CyArk , Metco Services , Epic Scan . Distributed by Open Heritage 3D.

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