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Photogrammetry "is the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable [and quantitative] information about physical objects and the environment",[1] using recording, measuring and analyzing electromagnetic energy and other phenomena. The images used for analysis are typically obtained by remote sensing, although it need not be long-range sensing; photogrammetric methods can be used to validate and interpret short-range photographs. Closely related fields include geographic information systems, imagery intelligence (IMINT), geodesy, and geospatial intelligence.

One way to think of modern photogrammetry is as a process that takes one or more recorded images, and converts them to a two- or three-dimensional set of coordinates and attributes. Photogrammetric metrology takes precise measurements by computations on the coordinates.

Using coordinate systems to link human-recognizable images to sensor readings is key to the measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) disciplines of electro-optical MASINT and spectroscopic MASINT. These disciplines also apply to civilian remote sensing.


  1. Definitions, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS)