The Leica Distancemeter

I spent some of today trying to survey a complicated floor plan in Cork City. I would usually employ the traditional measuring tape in this process however today my eyes were opened!

Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Leica DISTO D210. A neat little laser distance meter that can be used for assessing structures and spaces on construction sites but also (in this case) on archaeological building surveys.

The Leica DISTO D210 Laser Distancemeter

The Leica DISTO D210 Laser Distancemeter

The accuracy of the D210 is dependent on light conditions and reflectivity but I have to say even I was amazed by the precision of this tool and the distance I was able to measure with it. The minimum it could travel within the space available for assessment was approximately 28m with limited locational visibility. According to the company specifications, this entry level model can record a distance of 80m but I have yet to find a space to test this in. It’s quite ergonomic and gives you the option of measuring from the base of the device or from the top which was so efficient for the area I was working with.

I honestly shouldn’t be surprised as I have used a number of Leica brand products in archaeobotanical assessments (microscopes, lightboxes etc.) over the years and beyond of course the (justifiable) costs they set for their products, I have yet to find something to complain about.

I personally don’t know how well it works in daylight yet but I intend to have a bit more fun with this tomorrow morning. If you see a crazy lady running around campus at any stage pointing at random objects with a glorified laser pointer you know the score.

I would also note that my estimated timeframe for surveying the general area was 30 minutes with a measuring tape. Using this little tool I managed to produce an unexpectedly detailed floor plan in less than 2 hours. I shudder to think how long it would have taken me using my traditional method.


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