Although photogrammetry has been utilized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for all measurements taken in outer space since 1970, it has not been used extensively for industrial applications until recently. It is not possible within the confines of this article to explain the technical basis of photogrammetry, however, we can offer a simple description of what it does. Photogrammetry captures dimensional data by extracting three-dimensional information from two-dimensional digital images. When used in conjunction with total station point data, photogrammetry is a very precise work process that brings great value and unique opportunities to industrial projects.


  • High precision

  • Rapid data capture – everything in the camera’s field of vision is captured

  • The ability to measure components that are in motion due to low frequency vibration

  • Because the image is measured, instead of the object, measurements can be extracted in the office after leaving the field


  • The learning curve associated with data capture and data processing is extensive and the technology is not widely understood in the industry 

  • Processing is more time consuming than scanning or total station modeling

  • Camera selection and calibration can be a problem for new users