Photogrammetric Applications for Cultural Heritage

Guidance for Good Practice

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This guidance covers the practical application of photogrammetry in recording cultural heritage, with particular reference to structure from motion (SfM) techniques. Our audience for this document includes survey contractors, archaeological contractors, voluntary organisations and specialists.

Photogrammetric image acquisition and processing, until recently requiring a considerable investment in hardware and software, are now possible at a fraction of their former cost. This has led to a huge increase in the use of photogrammetry in cultural heritage recording. The skills required to apply the techniques successfully and accurately are discussed, and background information on how various parts of the process work is provided so that better results can be achieved through better understanding.

Photogrammetry is characterised by its versatility, and is applicable over a wide range of scales, from landscapes to small objects. The particular requirements needed at these different scales are outlined, and both imaging techniques and useful ancillary equipment are described. The different types of outputs are discussed, including their suitability for further interrogation using a range of established analytical techniques and the presentation options available. A range of case studies illustrates the application of photogrammetry across a variety of projects that broadly reflect the areas discussed in the text. This document is one of a number of Historic England technical advice documents on how to survey historic places.


  • Introduction
  • Basic principles
  • General considerations
  • Scales and applications
  • Case studies
  • References
  • Glossary
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 128
  • Product Code: HEAG066


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