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Bombarding San Francisco With Lasers to Create a Perfect 3-D Map

On an early weekend morning in December, a single truck will trek down San Francisco’s storied Market Street in the dark. From the Ferry Building—stolid survivor of the city’s 1906 and 1989 earthquakes—all the way to one of the few remaining brick-paved blocks near Octavia Boulevard, and then back. And then again. It’ll drive the route four times, each time peppering the city’s facades with millions of laser beams.

The goal? To create a perfect, three-dimensional map of the boulevard—just in time to completely redesign it.

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