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Pictometry is the name of a patented aerial image capture process that produces imagery showing the fronts and sides of buildings and locations on the ground. Images are captured by low-flying airplanes, depicting up to 12 oblique perspectives (shot from a 40 degree angle) as well as an orthogonal (overhead) view of every location flown. These perspectives can then be stitched together to create composite aerial maps that seamlessly span many miles of terrain. Because they are taken from an angle, the pixels associated with Pictometry images are trapezoidal, rather than rectangular.[1] This necessitates special software and algorithms to accurately determine objects’ size and position on the maps.


Pictometry imagery can be overlaid with various shapefiles and GIS information because every pixel is georeferenced to its exact location on the earth.[2] This allows pictometry imagery to be integrated into many existing GIS software applications[3] for use in many businesses, while creating a much richer database of the real world.[4] Measurements that can be made directly on pictometry imagery include area, distance, height, elevation, pitch, and bearing, among others.[5] Pictometry imagery is used by federal, state and local governments[where?] for emergency response/9-1-1,[6] GIS, planning and development, and assessment.[7][8] Commercial industries including insurance, construction, utilities,[9] and real estate utilize such imagery to streamline business activities.

Legal protection[edit]

Pictometry technology was created and is owned by Pictometry International Corporation, which licenses the technology to companies across the globe. It is protected under US law, including Patent Ser. No. 60,425,275, filed Nov. 8, 2002.[10]


  1. ^ Metric Oblique Imagery
  2. ^ GIS: Pictometry: Oblique Imagery training
  3. ^ "Ims Integration Package" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Pictometry: Potentials for Land Administration" (PDF).
  5. ^ Pictometry - The Aerial Oblique Photography Company
  6. ^ Marion County, Kansas > Departments > Emergency Communications > What is Pictometry
  7. ^ Web-based GIS and Digital Oblique Imagery - Journal of Property Assessment & Administration - by Lema Kebede -
  8. ^ Pictometry | PVSC - Property Assessment Nova Scotia
  9. ^ Provider Calls Pictometry® A Revolutionary Technology For The Pipeline Industry | Pipeline & Gas Journal
  10. ^ Method and apparatus for capturing, geolocating and measuring oblique images - Pictometry International Corporation