How 360 Degree Camera Mapping Streamlines Workflows for Interior Designers

360 camera point cloud is a mapping camera that records data from 360 degrees (full circle) often attached on a tripod. It shoots laser beams while capturing photos at the same time. A 3D camera is ideal substitute for standard tape measure tools for interior designers.

This type of information removes the need of manual measurements for small and large design and architecture projects.

The camera captures 360 photos of a space which are processed often on an external software that converts the photos and laser data into a point cloud, which can be used for export into different 3D software, direct 2D CAD measurements and even 3D vertical sections.

Manually measuring apartments and houses, wall by wall, from floor to ceiling is time consuming, inaccurate, hard to reproduce and collaborate on.

Often this can lead to improper space planning, safety risks, and rework. Interior designers should consider using 3D scanning or measurement technologies like Imapper to mitigate these.

Here are the key risks of manual measurements for interior designers:

  • Inaccuracy – Manual measurements using tape measures, laser distance meters etc. can often be inaccurate due to human error. Even small measurement errors can lead to major issues down the line if furnishings, fixtures don’t fit properly
  • Time Consuming – Taking manual measurements of every dimension of a space is a tedious and time-consuming process. This slows down design workflows
  • Difficult to Reproduce – Unlike digital scans, manual measurements are not easily reproducible. If plans need to be revised, taking all the measurements again is required
  • Limited Documentation – Manual measurements only capture a few key dimensions. Critical details about angles, curves, slopes etc. can be missed, leading to improper space planning
  • Hard to Share – Collaborating and sharing manual measurements with other stakeholders is difficult, hampering coordination between team members
  • Prone to Human Error – Measurements can be missed or measured incorrectly due to fatigue or environmental factors leading to inaccurate plans
  • Safety Issues – Taking measurements of spaces like elevated areas or busy construction sites can also pose safety risks for designers.
Picture of George Nicola
George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

How to measure a room for interior design

Precise room measurements are crucial for interior designers to visualize and create optimal layouts, select furnishings, and ensure everything fits properly within the space. Leveraging digital measurement tools can save time while also improving accuracy.

  • Use a laser distance meter for quick and precise measurements. Digital tools are faster and more reliable than manual tape measures.
  • Break the room into smaller quadrants and measure each section individually. This makes it easier to capture all dimensions.
  • Measure the room perimeter including wall lengths, angles and any bump-outs or alcoves. Also measure ceiling height.
  • Interior dimensions like door and window placements are important for spatial planning.
  • For non-square rooms, offset measurements from a reference wall are useful. Capture any angled or curved walls.
  • Measure wall thickness at corners to account for any irregularities. This helps with furniture placement.
  • Note down any ceiling details like beams, dropped ceilings, or soffits that impact layouts.
  • Take photos and sketches to supplement the measurements for clarity. Capture built-ins or other fixed elements.
  • Use a mapping app like MagicPlan to digitally measure and create a floor plan from your phone.
  • For large or complex rooms, a 3D Lidar scanner like iMapper can automatically map and measure the entire space very quickly and accurately.

Role of Measurement in Design Project Budgeting

Accurately measuring interior spaces is a crucial first step for interior designers to determine project budgets and designer’s fees.

By taking detailed measurements of the total square footage and individual architectural elements, designers can estimate required quantities of materials, furnishings, and labor for later stages of the project.

Interior designers will measure wall-to-wall dimensions, ceiling heights, windows, doors, and any unique nooks or angles. They tally up the total square footage and room sizes. These measurements inform budgets by giving an indication of how much flooring, paint, lighting, furniture, and other materials will be needed.

The measurements also allow designers to plan layouts, produce drawings, select appropriately sized items, and install finishes properly within the given spaces. Without precise room dimensions, budgets and material estimates will be incorrect, leading to cost overruns.

Professional designers use laser measures and digital tools to capture highly accurate measurements efficiently. They supplement these with manual tape measurements as needed.

By taking the time upfront to thoroughly measure interior spaces, designers can create comprehensive project budgets that set clear expectations for clients on anticipated costs and avoid budget-busting surprises down the road. The measurement process gives them an essential data foundation for aligning the design plan with the client’s budget reality.

Precise measurements for accurate design procurement

Precise measurements are crucial when interior designers procure furniture, fixtures, and materials for projects. During the procurement planning process, designers take detailed dimensions of the space including wall lengths, ceiling heights, window and door sizes, etc.

These measurements allow designers to select appropriately sized furnishings, flooring, lighting, and other items that will fit and function well within the given spatial parameters. For custom built-ins and millwork, the designer’s measurements provide the exact interior dimensions needed by suppliers to construct pieces to spec.

When sourcing standard sized furnishings from catalogs, the designer refers to their interior measurements to choose pieces that will accommodate the space.

For example, if a room is 12 feet wide, the designer will look for a sofa under 10 feet wide after accounting for clearance.

Without accurate room dimensions, the designer risks purchasing oversized or undersized fixtures and materials that don’t maximize or function properly in the space. 

This could lead to costly returns, replacements, and project delays.

The designer shares their carefully measured drawings and plans with vendors and suppliers during quoting and fulfillment to ensure the procured items meet the required dimensions for seamless installation.

So detailed interior measurements provide the crucial data foundation designers require to procure finishes, furniture, lighting and other elements that align with the realities of the space.

How to take furniture measurements interior design

Architect working on a blueprint using an pen and paper.
Architect working on a blueprint using an pen and paper.

Detailed furniture dimensions are important for interior designers to create 2D plans and 3D models, select pieces that fit the space, arrange optimal furniture layouts and ensure a cohesive aesthetic.

  • Measure the length, width, and height of all furniture pieces. For irregular shapes, take multiple measurements.
  • Check for any overhangs, protrusions or irregular dimensions of the furniture that need to be accounted for.
  • Measure clearance dimensions like the space needed to open drawers or doors fully without obstruction.
  • Don’t just rely on manufacturer specs. Take physical measurements of any existing furniture you plan to use.
  • For sectional sofas, measure each component like chaise, corner, etc. individually.
  • Note down any attributes like arm height, seat height, and leg clearance.
  • Measure furniture elements like bookshelves separately, don’t just measure the overall piece.
  • For beds, measure mattress width, length and height off the floor. Account for any footboards or headboards.
  • Measure table height from floor to underside and top surfaces. Check leaf dimensions if expanding.
  • For chairs, measure seat width, depth, and height as well as arm and back heights.
  • Use a measuring tape for linear dimensions. For heights, a laser measure or measuring stick is easier.
  • Take photos of furniture from all angles. Capture any irregular shapes, curves or details.

Interior design measurement guide

A paper house plan with traditional tape measure
A paper house plan with traditional tape measure

Take detailed sketches, photos, and material samples to supplement. Use a laser distance meter and telescoping measuring rod for accuracy. Measure in multiple spots to account for variances.

Here is a detailed interior design measurement checklist:

Room Dimensions

  • Length and width of each wall
  • Ceiling height at highest and lowest points
  • Window and door placements from corners
  • Room area
  • Angles between walls (especially for irregular rooms)

Windows and Doors

  • Height and width of each window and door
  • Window sill height and depth
  • Distance from floor to bottom and top of windows/doors
  • Depth of door jambs
  • Direction each door swings
  • Clearance needed to fully open doors

Wall Details

  • Baseboard height and depth
  • Chair rail height (if present)
  • Crown molding height and depth (if present)
  • Wall thickness at corners
  • Locations of outlets, switches, thermostats, vents
  • Built-in shelving/cabinet dimensions

Flooring

  • Square footage of space getting new flooring
  • Transition threshold heights between flooring types
  • Identify type of existing flooring

Ceilings

  • Ceiling height at corners and center
  • Details on beams, soffits, dropped ceilings

Lighting

  • Ceiling to floor height for pendant lights
  • Distance between sconces or accent lighting

Furniture

  • All dimensions (LWH) of existing furniture
  • Clearances needed around furniture
  • Photos of furniture from all angles

Best laser tape measure for interior designers

A laser tape measure (or laser distance meter) uses laser technology to take highly precise measurements, saving time and effort compared to manual tape measures.

To measure a distance, the user simply points the laser tape at one end of the surface to be measured, presses a button to activate the laser, and aims at the other end.

The laser beam reflects off the target surface and returns to the device. Using the time-of-flight principle, the laser tape then automatically calculates the distance by measuring the time it takes for the beam to travel to the target and back.

A diagram demonstrating how to laser tape measure work in a room
A diagram demonstrating how to laser tape measure work in a room

The distance is then shown on the digital display screen, typically accurate to within 1/16 of an inch up to 100 feet. For longer distances, accuracy is within a fraction of an inch.

Laser tape measures are able to calculate distances even if the target surface is not reachable, such as high ceilings. The laser can measure overhead areas by bouncing the beam off the floor.

For interior designers, these devices are invaluable for quickly and accurately measuring rooms, fixtures, furniture and more. The precision helps create accurate floor plans and models. Other features like built-in inclinometers further aid interior measurement.

With instant, precise measurements even in hard-to-reach spots, laser tape measures save interior designers significant time and effort while also improving accuracy over manual methods.

Bosch GLM50C Laser Measure

Bosch GLM50C Laser Measure
Bosch GLM50C Laser Measure

Range: Up to 165 feet
Accuracy: ±1/16 inch
Features: Bluetooth connectivity, backlit color display, calculates area and volume, Pythagorean measurements

Leica DISTO D2 Laser Measure

A laser distance meter Leica DISTO D2
A laser distance meter Leica DISTO D2

Range: Up to 330 feet
Accuracy: ±1/16 inch
Features: Very accurate, easy to use, calculates area and volume, transfer measurements via Bluetooth

Mileseey 70m / 229ft Digital Laser Tape Measure

A laser distance meter is shown on a white background.
A laser distance meter Mileseey 70m 229ft Digital Laser

Extends to 70 meters; possesses helpful measurement capabilities.

Brand – MiLESEEY, Battery – Yes, Color – Black, Material – ABS + PP, Weight – 7 Ounces, Dimensions – 11.5 x 5 x 3 centimeters​

How 3D point cloud camera can help architects and designers?

3D point cloud or often called lidar or depth cameras are a relatively new technology. An ideal solution for interior designers, architects, Project Managers, Kitchen Designers and Real Estate agents to get a precise and fast measurement that allows easy visualization, collaboration, marketing presentation.

One good example is iMapper. Which is a 360 point cloud camera that comes with a software. The iMapper’s software allows for direct export – import to SketchUp or Archicad to elevate workflows, impress clients, and deliver high-quality designs efficiently while having a realiable date from their on-site projects.

  • Visualization – Imapper allows designers to create photorealistic 3D renderings and walkthroughs of interior designs. This enables them to accurately present design concepts to clients.
  • Efficient Design Process – The software streamlines the design process with easy editing tools, drag and drop placement of models, etc. This improves efficiency and allows faster iteration.
  • Collaboration – Imapper enables real-time collaboration so multiple designers can work on a project together. Comments can also be added directly onto the 3D model.
  • VR/AR Capabilities – Integration with VR/AR headsets allows clients to virtually walkthrough designs for an immersive experience.
  • Marketing – The high-quality 3D visuals generated can be used in brochures, presentations, websites to attract clients.
  • Accurate Measurements – Imapper provides precise measurements, camera angles and lighting to ensure the 3D visuals accurately represent the designs.
  • Easy to Learn – Its intuitive interface allows both novice and expert designers to use it effecti

With a slew of features, from quick measurements to seamless uploads, iMapper is revolutionizing how we understand space.

Key Features and Benefits

iMapper offers an array of capabilities to enhance and streamline spatial data capture

  • Precision Measurements: The device can achieve survey-grade accuracy down to 1mm toleranceensuring reliable metrics for floor plans and models. This level of precision eliminates human error inherent in manual measuring.
  • 3D Mapping: iMapper can map interior spaces in 3D quickly and easily, capturing critical spatial data like ceiling heights and complex geometry not visible in 2D floor plans. The automatically generated 3D model is ready for export and use.
  • Simple Workflow: With just one handheld device, users can walk through a space and map its contours and features with minimal training or expertise required. The intuitive interface and workflow make adoption seamless.
  • Seamless Data Export: Once captured, iMapper data can be exported in various formats like .dxf, .obj, .fbx for immediate use in CAD, BIM, VR, and other platforms. No data conversion or cleanup required.
  • Value Adds: Additional capabilities like capturing images, videos, and thermal data enrich the spatial mapping and allow comprehensive documentation of spaces
  • The data can also be imported into iMapper’s software for further processing and analysis.

Applications of iMapper

lidar depth camera for kitchen designers / Credit: iMapper
lidar depth camera for kitchen designers / Credit: iMapper
black lidar depth camera for interior designers / Credit: iMapper
black lidar depth camera for interior designers / Credit: iMapper

With its versatility and precision, iMapper delivers value across diverse use cases:

  • Architecture: Quickly survey buildings and spaces to create accurate as-built 3D BIM models, elevations, and plans to aid remodeling, restoration, and heritage preservation projects
  • Interior Design: Map interior spaces with precision to design furnishings, lighting, and layouts with accurate real-world dimensions. Visualize designs in 3D.
  • Real Estate: Capture critical home measurement data like room dimensions, ceiling heights, and floor areas for listings and allow prospective buyers to virtually tour homes
  • Facility Management: Map assets, utilities, and infrastructure in factories, plants, and large venues to optimize space usage and maintenance operations
  • Construction: Monitor construction progress by comparing 3D scans captured at different stages to original BIM models to track deviations
  • Engineering: Scan complex machinery, structures, and spaces to create precise 3D models for retrofitting, quality control and as-built documentation
A tripod with a laser lidar camera in the snow / Credit: iMapper's Instagram
A tripod with a laser lidar camera in the snow / Credit: iMapper's Instagram

With continuous technological improvements, iMapper delivers an efficient, reliable and versatile way to capture spatial data across industries.

Its accuracy, ease of use and seamless data integration into downstream workflows make it an important tool for today’s data-driven world.

The Challenges of Manual Measurement

Manual measurement of spaces can be tedious, error-prone, and risky compared to digital mapping tools like the iMapper. Here are some of the key challenges:

  • Time-consuming : Taking manual measurements of a space is very slow and labor-intensive compared to digital mapping, which can scan a room in minutes. Manual measurement requires physically measuring and recording every dimension.
  • Prone to human error : Manual measurements rely on the person taking the measurements, leaving room for mistakes like misreading tape measures, miscalculating, or forgetting to measure critical dimensions. Studies show human error accounts for a large portion of measurement inaccuracy
  • Inconsistent results : Different people measuring the same space manually tend to get slightly different results. Digital mapping tools provide more consistent and precise measurements.
  • Difficult to capture complex geometry : Irregular shapes, angles, curves, and slopes are challenging to quantify manually, but can be captured with precision by digital scanners.
  • Safety risks : Frequent site visits to take manual measurements increases liability, costs, and safety risks compared to digital scanning.
  • Distractions impact accuracy : Taking manual measurements requires full focus, which can be disrupted by distractions like customer questions. Laser scanning concentrates measurement into a quick, distraction-free process.

How Digital Mapping Improves Accuracy

Digital mapping tools like the iMapper can greatly improve measurement accuracy and efficiency compared to manual methods:

  • Laser precision : Laser scanning and digital photography capture millions of exact dimension points, far more than feasible manually. This also allows capturing of complex geometries.
  • Reduces human error : Automation of measurement removes inconsistencies and errors inherent in manual methods.
  • Saves time : Rooms are scanned in minutes rather than hours or days with manual tools. This also reduces safety risks and costs.
  • Easy verification : Digital files allow quick re-measurement and verification if any dimensions are unclear.
  • Better visualization : Digital floor plans, 3D models, panoramic photography, etc. provide clearer visualization than manual drawings or notes.
A laptop with a 360 camera point cloud on a tripod sitting next to a kitchen counter for capturing offer details / Credit: iMapper's Instagram
A laptop with a 360 camera point cloud on a tripod sitting next to a kitchen counter for capturing offer details / Credit: iMapper's Instagram

Digital mapping technology like the iMapper vastly improves productivity, accuracy, visualization, and safety compared to slow, inconsistent, and error-prone manual measurement. Advanced tools like laser scanning, digital photography, and powerful software remove human limitations by automating measurement and providing precision down to millimeters. Any property professional needing reliable dimensional data would benefit from utilizing these modern mapping technologies.

Overview of iMapper Pro

iMapper Pro is a revolutionary 360° mapping and measurement device that allows users to quickly and accurately measure entire rooms or houses. It offers several key benefits:

  • Speed: Measures complex rooms in just 3 minutes
  • Precision: Offers horizontal and vertical measurements with ±2mm precision
  • Ease of Use: Simply place the device in a room’s center, click a button, and let it map the space. No expertise required.
  • Coverage: Captures 360° photos and complete floor plans, including wall thicknesses and angles
  • Versatility: Handles both horizontal and vertical measurements by rotating on its tripod

Key Features and Functionalities

Making a low offer on a house can be okay in certain situations, but there are some caveats to keep in mind:

  • Don’t make an unrealistically low offer that is seen as an insult. Sticking to 5-10% below asking price is often more reasonable.
  • Back up your offer with evidence, such as comparables of similar homes selling for lower prices in the area.
  • Be prepared to negotiate and increase your offer if needed – an extremely lowball first offer leaves little room for discussion.
  • A low offer may turn off some sellers, so be prepared for rejection. But others may counter, allowing a conversation.
  • Consider market conditions – making very low offers in a hot seller’s market is less likely to be accepted.

iMapper Pro is a high-precision and easy-to-use 360° mapping device that delivers fast, accurate, and comprehensive measurement of interior spaces.

It excels at capturing complete room dimensions, angles, wall details, and more to generate detailed floor plans.

The automated mapping process, versatile functionality, and universal software compatibility make iMapper Pro a versatile and revolutionary solution for interior mapping applications.

How iMapper Works

iMapper is a 360° mapping and measurement device used to create detailed floor plans.

A laptop, optimized for architectural design and animation in 2024, sits on top of a blueprint.
A laptop, optimized for architectural design and animation in 2024, sits on top of a blueprint.

Here is a step-by-step guide to using iMapper:

  • Activation: Place the iMapper device in the center of the room to be mapped. Turn on the device to activate it and initialize the scanning process.
  • Scanning: iMapper will rotate 360° while capturing thousands of measurement points to map the entire room. This scanning process usually takes around 3 minutes even for complex rooms.
  • Upload & Merge: Once scanning is complete, the data is uploaded to the iMapper software. If multiple rooms were scanned, the software will automatically stitch and merge the separate scans into one unified floor plan.
  • Sharing & Collaboration: The iMapper project with the complete floor plan can be shared with team members for collaboration. Users can access the data from any device through the software platform.
  • Export: The finished floor plans and all measurement data can be exported to various file formats like PDF, JPG, DWG, DXF, etc. This allows easy integration with CAD and other floor planning software.

iMapper provides an automated and streamlined workflow to quickly capture precise room measurements and generate detailed floor plans through an easy-to-use 360° scanning process. The data can be easily shared, accessed, and exported as needed.

iMapper Benefits and Features

  • Cost and Time Savings: iMapper can significantly reduce the cost and time required to accurately measure and map interior spaces compared to manual measurement techniques.
  • Reliable Accuracy: The device promises highly precise and reliable measurements within ±2mm tolerance.
  • Ease of Use: With an intuitive interface and automated mapping process, users can get started with minimal training in under 30 minutes.
  • Software Compatibility: iMapper integrates with leading architecture and design platforms like ArchiCAD and Sketchup for seamless workflows which later can be shared with outsource teams for rendering.

How can use iMapper

  • Interior Designers: to accurate room dimensions to create detailed plans and layouts.
  • Architecture Firms: to reduce the time spent on site measurements so architects can focus on design work.
  • Construction Firms: The precision measurements aid efficient planning and execution of projects.
  • Real Estate Agents: can use the 3D camera to produce detailed floor plans enhance property listings and allow accurate area calculations.

iMapper Pricing

As a high-end professional tool, iMapper likely commands a premium one-time price to purchase the hardware and software license.

Competitor products cost $2,000-$5,000. The long-term license provides great value given the device’s durability and continued usefulness.

iMapper offers a versatile 360° mapping solution that delivers time and cost savings, reliability, ease of use, and integration capabilities.

It’s Kitchen Pack called iMapper Kitchen allows you to:

It provides value for interior design, architecture, construction, and real estate applications.

lidar depth camera for kitchen designers / Credit: iMapper
lidar depth camera for kitchen designers / Credit: iMapper

It’s Kitchen Pack called iMapper Kitchen at £1676.20 ideal for kitchen designers, planners and surveyors and allows you to:

  • Quickly scan an entire kitchen in just about 7 minutes.
  • Our special K-sensor ensures a pinpoint accuracy of 2mm, even on reflective surfaces.
  • Use the “preview” feature to see the scanning route before starting.
  • Comes with a built-in 360° photo capturing system.
  • One charge allows for approximately 15 scans.

Compatible Tools:

  • Works seamlessly with both InSitu and Winner software.

Included Accessories:

  • A tall tripod specifically designed for kitchens, reaching up to 250 cm.
  • A micro SD card that’s compatible with both PCs and Macs, along with an adapter.
  • A durable carrying case for safe transport.

Warranty & Payment:

  • Enjoy peace of mind with our 2-year warranty.
  • Flexible payment options. Feel free to reach out for more details!
black lidar depth camera for interior designers / Credit: iMapper
black lidar depth camera for interior designers / Credit: iMapper

The iMapper Racer Pack at £2263 is for those who consider them heavy users of AutoCad, Revit, SketchUp and allows you to:

  • Efficiently scan components in just around 3 minutes.
  • Boasts the R sensor for a precise 2mm accuracy.
  • Impressive range: 30m indoors and 10-20m outdoors.
  • Features an all-in-one 360° photo capturing system.
  • Can perform about 30 scans on a single charge.

Software Compatibility:

  • Works smoothly with platforms like AutoCAD, Revit, Archicad, SketchUp, and more.

Package Includes:

  • Sturdy, compact aluminum tripod reaching up to 140 cm.
  • Micro SD card, compatible with both PCs and Macs.
  • A protective carrying case.

Warranty & Pricing:

  • Comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • Priced at £2263. Save £503 using code SUMMER23.
  • We offer easy payment options; contact us for details.
  • Check out our subscription plans for more savings.