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I had an idea to use 2D images to extract data about wind velocity from raindrops. (Determining Wind Velocity from Images of Raindrops) which inspires me to ask this question.

I understand that there are efforts to Use 2D images to create 3D models of historic places.

My question is, are there any existing technologies which use 2D images to extract 3D data?

I don't count Using 2D images to create 3D models of historic places, I'm looking for things which extract useful data which we can input. For example, extracting wind velocity data can be used to help pilots. I understand that using 2D images is waaay far from optimal in applications like gathering rain data, and that in specific applications such as FBI wanting to examine videos of people getting slashed (they want to get data about the slashing by examining the trajectories of blood etc.) (I understand that resolution of cameras in such situations are probably waay too low to allow useful examination of blood trajectories)

However, I'm just curious whether such technologies really exist, optimal or not, modern or not.

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closed as not constructive by dmckee Mar 25 '13 at 18:56

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This is firstly a question about technology not physics and secondly a make-a-list. Digital stereo microscopes; time projection chambers; certain automated laser range finders and survey instruments; etc. etc. etc. –  dmckee Mar 25 '13 at 18:55
Thanks, you're right. Also, I think that my question is pointless, simply because commercial technologies would always want to be better and more optimal, so it doesn't make sense for them to actually use 2D images to extract 3D data in the sense that I was curious about. It makes more sense for them to use more advanced technologies (e.g. laser scanning) instead of using extremely non-optimal technologies (e.g. digital cameras) to get data. –  raindrop Mar 28 '13 at 3:36

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