Photomodelling has long been a specialised subject in the 3D world. Dominated by the likes of ImageModeller by Realviz and Photomodeler by Eos Systems the emphasis has always been on camera lens calibration and point matching, making it a time consuming process.
Google in their release of SketchUp Pro 6 have now made photomodelling available to the general user in the form of their new 'Photo Match' feature. We have had chance to try it out and it significantly speeds up the modelling process for urban visualisation.
The ability to quickly and easily set up the modelling viewpoints perspective to match a photograph allows one to simply trace a buildings outline and thus create its geometry. Once the outline is created you can then apply the image to the mesh providing instant phototexturing.
While its obviously not as accurate as the photogrammetric solutions it is significantly faster and easier to work with.
Take a look at the example movies to get a closer look at the Photo Match feature.