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Pictometry International is a Rochester, New York-based company that provides detailed aerial photography. Its images are taken at a 40 degree angle from low-flying airplanes. Its Electronic Field Study software allows a variety of measurements to be taken directly from the image, including height, distance and area as well as elevation and bearing. Contour lines can be dynamically created by the user. Its images can be overlaid with shapefiles and GIS information can be exported from the images as well.

The oblique photographs shows buildings, infrastructure, and land from all sides. Pictometry also shoots looking straight down from the airplane. In general, this approach results in much more visual detail than using satellite photography, because there are multiple perspectives, with overlap resulting in as many as 12 to 20 images of the same location.

The company's most numerous customers are state and local governments, which use images of cities, counties, and entire states for such things as planning and development, emergency response (police, fire and 9-1-1), and property assessment. It also has applications in insurance, real estate, AVM, civil engineering, and utilities.[1][2][3][4] Microsoft licenses Pictometry imagery for the "Bird's Eye" feature of their Virtual Earth service.

The company estimates that 80% of the U.S. population is covered by a Pictometry image. These images may be directly licensed by Pictometry.

Since 2005, Pictometry established an international division which licenses its technology to partners in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America.[5]


  1. ^ "Prying eyes? Computerized aerial photos could ease county assessor's job, but privacy issues loom", Roger M. Showley, San Diego Union-Tribune, October 8, 2006
  2. ^ "Tax evaders can't hide from city's aerial imaging software", G.W. Miller III, Philadelphia Business Journal, February 9, 2007
  3. ^ "Jefferson may reap huge tax bonanza, Photo system may add $300 million", Dan Klepal, The Courier-Journal May 29, 2007
  4. ^, Lema Kebede, Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration, Vol 4-Issue 2, 2008
  5. ^

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