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EagleView’s Software Measures Rooftops With Photos From the Sky

Roofers once had to spend hours with ladders and tape measures to figure out the size of a job. Now they can get the precise dimensions of roofs -- the area of each section, the pitch, the length of ridges and eaves -- without leaving their desks.

In recent years, aerial and satellite photos have become abundant and detailed enough to show most U.S. buildings from several angles, and companies have emerged to turn those images into useful renderings. “It takes a lot of time to go out and measure a roof, so anything that will help with accuracy is a great idea,” says James Kirby, an architect with the National Roofing Contractors Assn. EagleView Technologies was just awarded a U.S. patent on its method to derive roof measurements from aerial photos, an accomplishment that Chief Executive Officer Chris Barrow hopes will give the three-year-old Seattle company an edge over competitors such as RoofWalk, Pictometry, and Aerialogics.