Strengths and limitations of Photogrammetry

What is Photogrammetry?

Photogrammetry is the science of measuring real-world objects and terrain features from photographs. Imagery may be captured from cameras in the air (aerial) or on the ground (terrestrial). 

How does it work?


  1. Photographs of an object are captured from different locations/angles.

  2. The resulting ‘rays’ (representing the line of sight from the camera to a point on the object), are mathematically reconstructed to produce 3D coordinates of the point. 

  3. These 3D coordinates produce a digital model of the real-world object, allowing precise measurements of features.


What is it used for?  


  • To generate digital models of real-world objects 
  • To measure distances, heights, areas and volumes
  • To prepare accurate topographic maps

+ Strengths of aerial photogrammetry 

– Limitations of aerial photogrammetry 

Why is it useful? 

  • Infrastructure planning and design
  • Drainage analysis and flood mapping 
  • Volume calculations of stockpiles and landfill
  • Environmental monitoring 

Using drones for offers a cost-effective method of aerial data capture for photogrammetry compared with traditional methods involving full sized manned aircraft.  Photogrammetry has many advantages when performed and used correctly, but understanding its strengths and limitations is essential to recognising when it is well suited for the requirements of a project or if an alternative method is more appropriate. 

At Scout Aerial, we are committed to providing reliable, accurate and valuable insights using our wide-ranging experience and expertise. We partner with our clients to better understand their context and requirements to produce results that can be trusted and build relationships that last.

Related Articles: Aerial Surveys by drone, LiDAR or Photogrammetry?RTK and PPK Drone Surveys

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References: Diagram

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