One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Control by means of light.
2Surveying. (Frequently in form photo control.) A system of precisely surveyed reference points (in terms of which subordinate local surveys are carried out) consisting of points that can be identified on aerial photographs; the establishment or availability of such a system of points.
1950s; earliest use found in The Botanical Gazette. From photo- + control.
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