What is Photogrammetry?

Most users who have put on a VR headset often wonder how they can virtually walk around in existing locations without being there. This level of realism is made possible thanks to a technique known as photogrammetry. It is another one of those complicated terms with an easy explanation. One thing’s for sure: without photogrammetry, virtual reality will never become successful.

The Purpose of Photogrammetry in VR

For those people who have never heard of photogrammetry, it is important we explain it first and foremost. This form of science makes measurements from photographs. This technique can be used to recover exact position or surface points, for example. It is also used to recreate virtual environments based on photographic evidence of the physical location. For example, detailed photogrammetry of Times Square will let you visit that location in VR as if you were actually there.

This particular technique has been around since the mid-19th century. It is an effective way to measure the distance between two points on a plane parallel to the photographic image plane. There are multiple ways to implement this technology. One can either use individual photographs or speed photography and remote sensing. Photogrammetry has successfully made its way into different aspects of life as we know it today.

LIDAR, triangulation, laser scanners, and various other technologies all rely on photogrammetry in one way or another. It has become the norm to scam areas and return x, y, and z coordinates of discrete points. Photogrammetry is a powerful technique which is mainly used in engineering, architecture, police investigations, and geology. Over the past few years, it has also made an impact in the world of virtual technology.

For example, there are different VR applications which scan objects and turn them into 3D models. This appeal is to both objects and locations. To create virtual copies of an existing location, one often needs to use photogrammetry. Otherwise, the 3D rendering will be unrealistic, which will upset the people visiting this virtual plane. Do keep in mind 3D models produced with photogrammetry are not entirely perfect, but they are far better compared to using alternative methods.

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