Photogrammetry is the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through processes of recording, measuring, and interpreting photographic images and patterns of recorded radiant electromagnetic energy and other phenomena. Photogrammetry is nearly as old as photography itself.
The term photogrammetry was coined by the Prussian architect Albrecht Meydenbauer, which appeared in his 1867 article “Die Photometrographie”.
Since its development approximately 150 years ago, photogrammetry has moved from a purely analog, optical–mechanical technique to analytical methods based on computer-aided solution of mathematical algorithms and finally to digital or softcopy photogrammetry based on digital imagery and computer vision, which is devoid of any opto-mechanical hardware. Photogrammetry is primarily concerned with making precise measurements of three-dimensional objects and terrain features from two-dimensional photographs. Applications include the measuring of coordinates; the quantification of distances, heights, areas, and volumes; the preparation of topographic maps; and the generation of digital elevation models and orthophotographs.