Photogrammetric Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotPhotogrammetry is the science of making measurements and maps using photographs. For example, a technician aboard an aircraft takes a series of overlapping photographs of an area to be mapped. Adjacent images are placed in an instrument called a stereo-plotter and calibrated using data obtained by surveyors in the field.

The resulting 3D image allows a photogrammetric technician to draw contour lines (lines of equal elevation) and enlarge the area of interest. The final map shows the features and elevations of the surface. New technologies allow contour information to be overlaid on ortho photography.

dotTechnology is influencing photogrammetrists and cartographers. They have evolved into a new type of mapping scientist known as a geographic information system (GIS) specialist.

"GIS [specialists] drive a lot of projects, and we are a little down on the food chain," says Thomas Asbeck, who works with a photo science company in Bangor, Maine. "But generally, GIS is a boon to photogrammetry because GIS systems have to have some kind of base maps, and that is what we do."

"Everything is becoming more automated," says Ken Sherman, a geomatics instructor. "There is a shift away from the mechanical instruments to a computer-driven instrument."

At a Glance

Make maps from photos

  • The trend is toward computer-driven instruments
  • You need strong technical skills
  • The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing offers certification