Since two decades technological progress at lasers, video techniques, optoelectronics, computers and evaluation algorithms allows to extract quantitative information from images of flows, even in complex environments. Continuous improvement of such image based measurement techniques and decreasing costs of equipment enabled many research groups to exploit these techniques for extraction of 2-dimensional or even 3-dimensional data mainly for fundamental research. Since a decade ago many image based measurement techniques have found interest in aerodynamics and are even used as a matter of routine in industrial applications, especially in large wind tunnels or at in-flight testing. Application is mainly performed in the scope of large industrial projects in European co-operation. For this purpose mobile measurement systems have been developed, which can be flexibly adjusted to particular testing environments. All data is acquired non-intrusively so that no interference of the flow field by the measurement is to occur. In consequence, the methods developed are particularly suited for the aero-dynamical and aero-acoustical analysis of complex, unsteady three-dimensional flow fields. The paper will report on the state-of-the-art of the application of image based measurement techniques in aerodynamics and will describe some of the current problems and future needs.