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Words as tracers in the history of science and technology: the case of photogrammetry and remote sensing

Abstract : The evolution of terminology in a given field of science and technology is a good indicator of the context in which inventions originated and how concepts have evolved. This is the case of photogrammetry, remote sensing and related methods, whose terminology evolved, first under the influence of the early inventors Laussedat and Meydenbauer, in French and German, respectively, and then in English and other languages as an international professional community developed. The development of space remote sensing and analytical photogrammetry led to the modification of old concepts and the renewal of terminology, and more recently, the advent of digital photography has blurred the boundaries between different fields and the meaning of the terms. This article proposes an analysis of the evolution of technical terms through the Google Ngram Viewer tool, which allows the visualization of the occurrence of terms in documents accessible on the web. Despite its biases, this tool allows an interpretation of the evolution of the terminology over a long period of time, as well as a comparison of the evolution observed in the different languages. In particular, it makes it possible to highlight the periods when these methods were very popular, as well as a recent decline in the use of classical terms such as photogrammetry and remote sensing in favor of a new vocabulary, due to the blurring of boundaries between disciplines and to the emergence of new solutions related to UAVs, computer vision, etc., which have renewed the potential of classical methods.
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Contributor : Christopher Lallemant <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 11:04:29 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 3:31:04 AM


Words as tracers in the histor...
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Laurent Polidori. Words as tracers in the history of science and technology: the case of photogrammetry and remote sensing. Geo-spatial Information Science, Taylor & Francis, 2021, 24 (1), pp.167-177. ⟨10.1080/10095020.2020.1843375⟩. ⟨hal-03251526⟩



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