The historical study the CHC did at Pointe du Hoc is composed of four distinct parts: (1) Surveying and recording of the historic structures, site, and site features, (2) Tilt meter installation and data collection, (3) Analysis of the cliff edge through survey and historic photographs, and (4) Laser scanning of cliffs and site surrounding the Observation Post. Though operation and results of 2-4 seem more technical than historical, data produced in these areas was established by the team to fall primarily under the expertise of the historical team. Data gathered in these areas was utilized by other teams to help visualize and analyze the results of their explorations.
Historical information in visual form is important for Pointe du Hoc, both as information pertinent to past events, but also as a record of the condition of the site in 2006. This record will serve future generations in understanding the cultural importance of this site, but it can also serve as an important interpretive tool for the present. Careful surveying of site features served as a glue for combining information gathered through geotechnical engineering and geophysical resistivity, enabling more accurate analysis.
The historical survey was composed through the use of five different tools: hand measurement, total station survey, close-range photogrammetry, 3D laser scanning, and tilt meter data. The total station was used to establish a base coordinate system into which all other data could be entered. All buildings, site features, cliff scans, and aerial photographs were registered to this coordinate system through the use of targets universal to all data. 3D points were established for each site feature and stored for reference in an AutoCAD database. Where historical information was used, such as WWII vintage aerial photographs, registration was accomplished through common site features, such as open gun emplacements, or natural features, such as trees, roads, or hedges.
Each of the bunkers on the site were hand measured with dimensions placed on carefully crafted field drawings. These drawings were used as repositories of factual and visual information for the creation of the field drawings. The final drawings, though similar to the field drawings, are created dimensionally correct and rendered in a stippling format according to the basic style used by the Historic American Building Survey (HABS).