The performance of near-field goniophotometer (NFG) was determined by the imaging accuracy of the luminance meter, data capacity of the disk and computing power of the computer. With the development of imaging technology and computer technology, the performance of NFG has been improved dramatically. The theoretical principle of NFG was introduced, and the merits of NFG compared with far-field goniophotometer were summarized. The development status of NFG was reviewed, while some typical NFGs at home and abroad were compared. In view of the current situation of NFG, including insufficient accuracy of metadata, slow scanning reconstruction speed and limited traceability, the possible solutions from the aspects of components, software and systems were presented. Combined with the characteristics and advantages of NFG, its applications in lighting, display, transportation, industrial vision and cultural relic protection were prospected.