The convergence of photogrammetry with advanced technologies such as computer vision is bringing exciting opportunities in this field. This article attempts to give an overview of the latest trends in photogrammetry.



What are the latest happenings in photogrammetry?

Over the past decade, photogrammetry surveying has witnessed many rapid advancements. ICT, robotics, computer vision, and automation have shaped the innovations in photogrammetry and transforming it completely.

Today, we can use active remote sensing techniques such as Lidar and obtain data even from reflective surfaces. Continuous advancements in sensors such as SAR, mobile Lidar, and flash lasers are changing the entire landscape of photogrammetry.

Here, let’s understand the concept of photogrammetry and also the latest trends involved in photogrammetry.

What does photogrammetry mean?

Photogrammetry is the technique of obtaining information about the environment and physical objects from photographic images of electromagnetic radiant imagery and related phenomena. The process involves the complete cycle of recording, analyzing, and interpreting the images. The input of photogrammetry software is a photograph and the output is a drawing, map, or 3D model.

There are mainly two types of photogrammetry – aerial and terrestrial.

Aerial photogrammetry is used in topographical mapping and uses a camera attached to the bottom of an airplane for capturing videos or photographs. In terrestrial photogrammetry, the camera is situated on earth’s surface and could be handheld, suspended from towers, or mounted on tripods.

Latest trends in photogrammetry and its applications

There has been considerable progress in the fields of surface reconstruction, automatic image orientation, scene analysis, and information extraction leveraging on data mining and machine learning.

This has also resulted in many new applications for photogrammetric techniques such as camera-equipped autonomous cars, radar sensors, and laser scanners. Photogrammetry helps real-time data processing for autonomous cars to ensure safe driving. Other significant applications are coastal monitoring, earth system modeling, object tracking, sustainable development, cadastral and topographic mapping, and disaster management.

Another new field in photogrammetry is UAV photogrammetry. The unmanned aerial vehicles can now carry automated flying robots that have high-tech optical sensors. The recent developments such as inertial measurement units and global navigation satellites and post-processing kinematic solutions ensure accurate measurements and make image geo-referencing faster. These technologies minimize or completely eliminate the need for measuring ground control points.

Digital photogrammetry is another promising development in photogrammetry. Though there were many initial operational problems, it is now being widely used for its numerous advantages. This technique can help to avoid the need for scanning analog photos. Apart from this, since digital images are not affected by photographic grain, it gives images of higher quality. The technique also has better radiometric resolution due to which it is possible to identify the elements in the shadows.

Ortho images have emerged as the standard content for mapping. However, orthoimages have many geometric limitations. It shows only the elements at the height level of the digital elevation models. So the usage is shifting to a true orthoimage that includes the detailed height information.

Final words

Photogrammetry in combination with the domains such as computer vision and robotics are making rapid strides towards a high-tech world. A strong trend is a shift from analogue cameras to digital cameras. Though automatic object recognition is in the stage of research, shortly we may see it being supported by digital images. Incorporating the latest trends in photogrammetry in your business can bring several advantages. SBL is a reputed technology partner for many companies and helps them leverage the latest photogrammetric advancements in their GIS operations.

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