EagleView’s vision is to extract data from imagery using machine learning and AI and to provide that data to digitize manual workflows. This technology helps government agencies, construction professionals, insurance carriers, energy infrastructure organizations, and other industries become more efficient and productive while generating a tremendous customer experience.
EagleView provides access to its orthogonal and oblique Pictometry® aerial imagery, 3D models, and measurement and analytical tools through proprietary software as well as partner integrations. With a fleet of more than 120 aircraft at its disposal and a 60-petabyte data library with more than 400 million images, EagleView offers more coverage and third-party integrations than any other aerial imagery provider.
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How It All Began
Georeferencing Oblique Imagery
In the late 1980s, while capturing street-side imagery of every parcel in Rochester, NY, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) professor John Ciampa had an idea. Why not photograph buildings obliquely from the air and georeference the images to identify parcels? There was only one issue: the industry was almost exclusively looking straight down when capturing aerial imagery. Any oblique photographs captured then were just that: photographs.
After obtaining a patent on the methodology in 1993, Ciampa turned to Steve Schultz, a former student and colleague from RIT, to turn it into reality. Schultz worked part-time to validate the concept and in January 1996 became employee number one of the newly incorporated Pictometry Inc. For the next four years, Schultz refined the algorithms, created the initial hardware, operated the capture systems, and developed the first working prototypes.
To turn the technology into a product, the company hired Richard Kaplan as CEO in the fall of 1999. Seeing potential use for the imagery in county and municipal governments, Kaplan worked with Schultz in 2000 to demonstrate the product in counties throughout the United States.
The pair quickly found five early adopters: Monroe County, NY; Ontario County, NY; Arlington County, VA; Lee County, FL; and Orange County, CA. Schultz and his team of four software engineers now had six months to turn the working prototype into a fully functional system.
Pictometry captured its first imagery in spring 2001 and delivered its first complete library to Arlington County, VA. The Arlington County Fire Department later used the imagery during the response to the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon. Pictometry also flew Ground Zero to help in the search, rescue, and recovery efforts.
To let users view, interact with, and extract data from the imagery, Pictometry created Electronic Field Study (EFS). This unique desktop application allowed users to measure distances and heights from a single image, surpassing the industry standard of the time that required two or more overlapping images to extract vertical measurements.
Growth and Success
With the company growing at a rapid pace, Schultz turned to a former RIT colleague, Frank Giuffrida, to help the business scale. Together they created the new Pictometry capture systems that would collect oblique imagery from all four cardinal directions as well as nadir. With a customer base doubling in size annually, the business went from capturing imagery with six planes to using 50 aircraft in just a few short years. By then, the patented Pictometry oblique camera systems became the first and only ones to receive U.S. Geological Survey certification.
In 2006, the company launched PictometryOnline, allowing users to view and interact with their imagery via a web browser. By that time, county customers had found more uses for Pictometry imagery. Call takers in enhanced 9-1-1 call centers were using the imagery to pinpoint caller locations and identify nearby landmarks. Assessors began to do more work than ever before from their desks and found they could use the imagery to reduce the number of costly appeals.
A Better Way to Measure
Meanwhile, across the country, two creative brothers-in-law were solving a different set of problems that would later result in the establishment of EagleView Technologies. Dave Carlson, who was working in Southern California as a roofing contractor, and Chris Pershing, a software engineer in Seattle, wanted to find a better process to measure roofs safely and accurately.
In addition to sharing a family relationship, both Carlson and Pershing shared something else: a passion for solving problems and continually asking, “Is there a better way?” As they discussed the challenges of accurately measuring roofs, they began researching to see if simple, accurate technology was available for determining roof measurements. When they discovered that software did not exist, they began collaborating on ways to create new technology to produce remote roof measurements from aerial photographs.
Pershing started by using his wife’s ornamental birdhouses as models to prototype software that would create a 3D model of roofs using photographs. Pershing refined the prototypes using feedback from Carlson’s field experience and measurements taken on actual roofs. Several months later, Pershing and Carlson had created and filed a patent for their extremely accurate software.
The Industry Standard in Property Measurements
EagleView Technologies was launched in February 2008 as the first remote aerial roof measurement service in history, creating 3D models designed to produce highly accurate and detailed roof and wall measurements. The idea immediately caught on with roofing contractors throughout the country as they recognized the time savings, safety benefits, and increased job closing rates they received using EagleView property measurement reports.
Insurance companies and adjusters were soon embracing EagleView as they too saw the benefits to an accurate, third-party report in the event of a claim. By the time EagleView was less than a year old, it had become the industry standard in aerial roof measurements.
In 2013, Pictometry merged with EagleView Technologies, creating a business focused on developing progressive technology to automate manual activities across industries. By then, the business had launched the CONNECT™ platform, which includes the CONNECTExplorer™ application. This cloud-based software solution offers the functionality and benefits of the EFS desktop solution remotely through a web browser. Further innovations over the following years included photorealistic 3D models and change detection technology.
Vista Equity Partners purchased EagleView in 2015. The following year, EagleView partnered with Australian company Spookfish to capture higher-resolution imagery on a more frequent basis in the U.S. and expand internationally. Later in 2017, EagleView made its first acquisition: OmniEarth, a leading provider of property data analytics derived from machine learning and aerial imagery.
While consolidating the business under the EagleView brand in 2017, EagleView Chief Executive Officer Rishi Daga became leader of the business. The former Executive Vice President of Commercial Sales, Daga has been with EagleView since shortly after its establishment in 2008. Frank Giuffrida, who developed the Pictometry image capture systems, also continues to lead and innovate at EagleView in his role as Executive Vice President and Chief Engineer.
Over the years, EagleView has produced more than 400 million images and covered more than 91% of the most populated areas in the United States. Altogether, thousands of cities, counties, and municipalities rely on Pictometry imagery in their local government offices, and EagleView’s aerial property measurement reports and data have assisted countless roofing contractors and insurance companies in their everyday workflows. EagleView remains committed to providing professionals across industries and agencies with the data they need to save time and money and reduce exposure to risk.