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This paper summarizes the results from a PhD thesis concerned with the comparison between traditional and new three-dimensional (3D) surveying techniques from a user point of view. Three types of 3D surveying methods were tested. The three methods are manual survey combined with photographic texturing, 3D touch probe and 3D laser scanner. A heritage-related object was picked according to a given method For a user point of view, e.g. an architect or a 3D photographer, the knowledge of these different methods is fundamental in order to match a given object to be surveyed with the optimal survey procedure that will take full advantage of the data that the survey supplies to that user. Obviously the knowledge of the different methods is essential but so is the purpose of the project itself and the planning phase.