Here in the UK we have the publicly-funded BBC to thank for fantastic shows such as Dr Who, Changing Rooms (now re-imagined as The Great Interior Design Challenge) and another example of this type of excellent programming which I happened to stumble across this past week is a show entitled Rome’s Invisible City.

Available on the BBC iPlayer, this 60 minute show takes a trip into the vast, subterranean underbelly of one of the greatest architecturally culturally significant cities in the world.

Presenters Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott tag along as the team from ScanLab Projects head into the tunnels to fire up their Faro laser scanners and create some of the most breathtaking 3D scans I’ve ever seen outside of the help files for Autodesk’s Recap software:

Rome's Forum laser scanned - ScanlabImage provided courtesy of ScanLAB Projects

Even my wife (who normally shies away from this sort of program) was intrigued by the footage showing the mostly-unseen catacombs, viaducts and quarries which thread beneath this magnificent city.

I tweeted Dr Michael Scott wondering whether the 3D scan data will be made available at any point and he pointed me to ScanLab Projects’ Twitter account who stated that the data is still being pored over by the Rome Authorities so time will tell if the general public will be able to take a wander through this amazing dataset.

If you have access to the BBC iPlayer, I really do recommend you check out this fantastic piece of programming.