In structural studies local methods play an increasing role. The reason is the appearance of nanoscale systems, in physics, chemistry and also in biology. There is also a need to understand the local environment of impurities or dopant sites etc. Hard x-ray holography based on the inside reference point concept is a local probe of the atomic order in solids. It gives the 3D real space image of atoms without the phase ambiguity inherent to diffraction methods. Therefore it is a potentially powerful method to attack problems difficult for traditional diffraction. In this paper the basics of atomic resolution x-ray holography are given and recent theoretical and experimental developments are discussed. The capabilities of hard x-ray holography are illustrated by examples. Future possibilities and new directions are also briefly outlined.