Area Targets from NavVis Scans


With the NavVis portfolio of mobile mapping solutions, it’s possible to scan large spaces rapidly and with precision. The NavVis M6 and NavVis VLX systems generate a point-cloud and 360-degree imagery in one working step. This data baseline allows for augmented content to be precisely positioned within the virtual environment. This guide shows how to scan the space for an Area Target and design your augmentations to support indoor navigation, spatial instructions, museum-guides, games and other applications.

Supported Devices

  • NavVis M6
  • NavVis VLX

NavVis scanning workflow

A scan using a NavVis device can either be conducted by your own team after being trained on the devices or by a professional NavVis service-provider. To learn more about NavVis mobile mapping devices, training, and scanning services, contact NavVis specialists at

To capture accurate data that is optimized for Vuforia Area Targets, the general workflow is as follows:

  1. Prepare the environment for scanning.
  2. Set up your NavVis VLX or NavVis M6 mobile mapping device.
    1. In case you want to acquire your own NavVis mapping device or contract scanning services, please contact NavVis specialists at
    2. If you already have a NavVis mapping device, refer to the product’s User Guide to learn how to set up your device.
  3. Scan the environment.
    1. For general mapping guidelines, consult the product’s User Guide or check out NavVis’s documentation to learn more
  4. Process your captured data in NavVis SiteMaker (Desktop Processing Software) or in the Cloud Processing Add-on for NavVis IVION.
    1. When processing your scan data, we recommend using a point-cloud density of 1 cm (0.4 inches). Make sure to acquire the cloud bundle and, more importantly, the datasets_proc folder from the service-provider.
  5. Convert the scan with the NavVis-2-E57 conversion tool distributed by Vuforia.
  6. Import the converted E57 data into the Area Target Generator.
  7. Create the Area Target.

Getting Started with NavVis

  • Decide which NavVis device you will use based on your scanning environment and use case
    • NavVis VLX is a wearable device that enables high-quality reality capture in complex buildings such as construction sites, staircases, and technical rooms.
    • NavVis M6 is a mobile mapping device on wheels that enables fast scanning with minimal disruption in commercial and industrial environments.
  • Decide on how you will post-process your scan data, using either:
    • NavVis SiteMaker (Desktop Processing Software).
    • Cloud Processing Add-on for NavVis IVION (processing in the cloud).

Preparing the Environment

In combination with the general Best Practices for Scanning an Environment, there are few things to be aware of when optimizing your environment for Area Targets.

  • Make sure there are no people in the environment to be mapped.
  • Make sure you have opened all doors using door stoppers.
  • Check with your on-site contact that all confidential material is hidden.
  • Make sure you have your mapping routes marked on a floor plan and access to all rooms.
  • Ensure the area is brightly lit. Note: NavVis’ scanners can capture areas outdoors. At this point we recommend you not to use outdoor scans in combination with Area Targets.
  • When scanning with NavVis M6, make sure to provide enough space for the device to pass through doorways and narrow spaces.
  • When scanning with NavVis VLX, consider the additional height requirements when passing through doorways or scanning in areas with low hanging components, such as light fixtures, etc.

Retrieving and Converting the Scan

Post-processing raw scan data can be done in either NavVis SiteMaker (Desktop Processing Software) or with the Cloud Processing Add-on for NavVis IVION. Either way, it is important that you specify that you will need the datasets_proc folder for the Area Target creation, in addition to the normally generated output bundle datasets_web used by NavVis IVION.

  • Request the datasets_proc folder in addition to the bundle which the NavVis partners process for you.

E57 Data Conversion Tool 

Before the Area Target Generator can import the point cloud from a NavVis scan, the data needs to undergo a conversion with a simple command tool executable.

Get the NavVis-2-E57 tool from Vuforia Tools Download page.

  1. Use the command line tool to convert the NavVis scan to the E57 data format that the Area Target Generator supports.
  2. The tool takes following arguments:
    1. <datasets_proc_folder> - the NavVis processing folder containing the processed dataset metadata (dataset.json).
    2. <e57_output_file> - the file the generated Vuforia E57 will be stored in.

Example usage:

convertNavVis2VuforiaE57.exe <path>\datasets_proc\2021-01-18_12.34.30 <path>\output.e57

Where the <path> is the specified folder locations on your local hard drive for the datasets_folder and the output folder.

To continue, see or return to the How to Create Area Targets for completing the Area Target from an E57 data file.

See then Area Targets in Unity for a guide on authoring Area Targets.