How is Photogrammetry Related to Civil Engineering?

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Photogrammetry is the art of using photographs to apply scale and measurements to objects. In photogrammetry, you take many pictures from all different angles and use special software to layer them together to produce a scaled 3D image or model. This model is then used to examine an area that would be otherwise inconvenient or impossible to view otherwise, such as a construction site or cleared crime scene.

Regarding the former example: recently, photogrammetry technology has been embraced by the construction world. For years, construction companies had to rely on drawn plans using laser technology. The equipment used in laser surveying is expensive and often has a higher margin of error. Companies can use architectural photogrammetry software that will allow them to plan sites and construct new building models with precise measurements.

Aerial Photographs

Civil engineers rely on aerial photographs to assess landscaping potential and building sites. Utilizing drones, civil engineers can take lots of pictures that will help them to map out the area they are viewing.


Using special photogrammetry software, the computer will analyze all the images uploaded from the drone. The program will then crawl the pictures and put them in order and create a new 3D model of the area. After you put in some necessary information, the program will have a nearly precise gauge to measure objects in the images and the distance from one another.

Topographic Measuring

Similar to aerial photographing above, topographic measuring is an essential tool that civil engineers regularly use when planning. By working with the aerial photography taken by the drone, the engineers can piece together the topography of the land they are assessing. This is invaluable when we are researching a harder-to-reach area where the terrain is steep, or there are many obstacles in the way. The drone can get into these otherwise difficult-to-photograph places and get some shots for later photogrammetric use.


When planning developments or other building-dense areas, photogrammetry software can be used to present an accurate representation of the proposed building. This is a powerful tool for showcasing the work and letting other interested parties know precisely what is going on with the project.

Many times, when engineers are giving a presentation on where they are in the building or planning process, it can be challenging to convey the message to people who haven’t been at the actual job site. Using photogrammetry, your other teammates can feel as if they have visited the site, and they will be able to tour around the 3-D photos.


By having more accurate measurements, engineers can save on wasted material costs. Also, companies should be able to reduce labor costs because the software program does most of the scaling work. Civil engineering and photogrammetry go hand in hand. For the range of work required in this field, photogrammetry makes doing this job a lot easier and more effective.

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