ON LAUSSEDAT’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE EMERGENCE OF PHOTOGRAMMETRY
The French officer Aimé Laussedat (1819–1907) is often considered as the “father of photogrammetry”. Indeed, he was the first to use photographic images for topographic surveys as early as 1861, based on a technique he called metrophotography, which he had already implemented with hand-drawn perspective views of edifications and mountainous landscapes. However, the development of analog photogrammetry at the beginning of the 20th century is not a direct evolution of Laussedat’s method and we can wonder what is his actual contribution to the emergence of photogrammetry when the first stereocomparators were created. Based on the influence of precursors like Beautemps-Beaupré and Arago, he developed a very innovative method but his main contribution remained mainly instrumental and he ignored some concepts or technologies which were available, like error computation, stereoscopy and aerial photography. These observations allow a more nuanced appreciation of his contribution.