Area Targets from NavVis Scans

With the agile NavVis depth mapping devices it is possible to scan large spaces rapidly leading to increased efficiency. This guide shows how to the scan to an Area Target and design your environment to support augmented navigation, instructions, laser-tag spaces, airports.

Supported Devices

  • NavVis M6
  • NavVis VLX

NavVis scanning workflow

A scan using a NavVis scanner would be in most cases obtained by a service-provider who prepares, scans, and delivers the processed scan to you. They are trained and certified in capturing spaces according to the guidelines of NavVis. The guidelines below are reflected by this:

  1. Visit NavVis’ homepage to learn more or locate one of their partners from the find-partner page.
  2. Prepare the environment for scanning.
  3. Have the environment scanned.
  4. Get the raw data processed with NavVis’ SiteMaker software.
  5. Acquire the cloud bundle and, importantly, the datasets_proc folder from the service-provider.
  6. Convert the scan with the NavVis-2-E57 conversion tool distributed by Vuforia.
  7. Import the converted E57 data into the Area Target Generator.
  8. Create the Area Target.

If you own a scanner and do capture the scan yourself with above listed devices, please follow the instructions on NavVis Portal on how to operate the scanner and post-process, as described on


The NavVis scanning devices are designed for mobility and include a variety of features, adjustments and functions. The devices are almost exclusively operated by professionals that have been trained by NavVis. Therefore, we cannot provide guidance on equipment and the scanning practice itself.

  • To process the scan, we recommended a point-cloud density of 1cm (0.4 inches).

Preparing the Environment

The Best Practices for Scanning an Environment cover the general guidelines for capturing areas ideal for Area Targets. These practices should be followed with the following specifications in mind for NavVis scans.

  • NavVis’ scanners can capture areas outdoors. At this point we recommend you not to use outdoor scans in combination with Area Targets.
  • As the NavVis M6 scanner rolls along the floor, make sure to provide enough wide doorways for the trolley to pass.
  • When capturing with the NavVis VLX device, consider the additional height required in doorways or under low hanging components, lighting, etc.

Retrieving and Converting the Scan

Post processing the raw scan is done in the NavVis SiteMaker software provided to NavVis’ customers owning a scanner. 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 the NavVis IndoorViewer.

  • 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.