How To Use Space Technology To Measure Roof
"I probably have a dozen or more pictures of every building in North America," Dale Thornberry claims. He also may have found a way to monetize them. Thornberry, 50, is founder of GeoEstimator, an Indianapolis company that can measure the area and perimeters of building roofs by analyzing satellite images from Digital Globe, Google Earth, and Pictometry. His estimates are within 5% of measurements taken by a human climbing up on a roof to do it himself, Thornberry says, but his method is faster, safer and maybe cheaper—GeoEstimator charges $29.95 for most jobs.
Thornberry has been self-employed since he started a construction company when he was 18. Just before launching GeoEstimator, he began Thornberry Consulting, a software engineering firm. He got the idea for GeoEstimator after talking with a construction materials vendor who was looking for a way to sell the right amount roofing products without having to measure the square footage manually. Thornberry spent $1 million on computer programs to make accurate measurements from downloaded images. So far the company has had 660 customers, with 450 returning for a second job. He says GeoEstimator will turn profitable in late 2009.
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[Via - BusinessWeek.Com]
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