Photogrammetry: Making Measurable 2D and 3D Data From Images

Photogrammetry, is also known by a few different terms including: Reality Capture, Structure From Motion (SFM) and/or Digital Twin creation. It is the science and practice of using photos (images) to create 3 dimensional quantitative models from real life. It is used in many industries that deal with measurements such as architecture, engineering and construction, but it also is used to tell stories, such as in motion pictures, video games, and now Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR / VR).

Photogrammetry works through utilizing parallax, the same phenomena where two eyes (two images) and the brain create depth perception through triangulation. Photogrammetry is able to use several offset and overlapping photos from different perspectives to create a digital copy of objects and terrain.

A point / pixel that exists within overlapped photos, can be triangulated with intersecting rays (lines) that meet at a point in space. If you have several shared points in the photos, they can be triangulated form a point cloud. Due to the fact that it’s quantifiable, photogrammetry allows one to measure distances and volumes from images.

Photogrammetry has a long history involving different types of technology. Originally, two photos developed from film were aligned and scaled using a large and expensive machine, and distances were measured manually. With the advent of high performance computers, modern day photogrammetry is multi-ray and algorithmic. This allows for automated alignment and scaling of unlimited photos, simultaneously.

The Spaur Group focuses on helping businesses use photogrammetry and laser scanners (LiDAR) to reconstruct the world in 3D, from creating virtual site tours of facilities, to mapping terrain for construction. Email or Contact Us for a free consultation.

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