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Photometrics

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SharperImage

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
I really like the photometrics ability when sketching out property lines and numerous buildings from an aerial photo.

What would really be nice is the ability to have the photo included in the sketches. Do you (Apex) think that that capability is possible?

SI
 

Randall Garrett

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Professional Status
IT Professional-Appraisal Related
State
Texas
SI,

Thanks for the kind words. We have a policy here of not discussing stuff that is not already out or at least in field testing, so I cannot officially comment on future products. That said, it is fair to say that the present incarnation of PhotoMetrics is not as robust as I envisioned it being when I designed it... Anyway, how much is done and when it is released is mostly determined by user feedback (like your post/question), so any suggestions you give us will go on the list for updates and/or upgrades... :) I think I know what you want and a simple version would not be out of the question... If you have a specific need or description of how you'd like to see it work, fee free to email me at the address spelled out below.

Hope this helps!

-Randall Garrett-
..Apex Software..

e-mail: rgarrett [at] apexwin [dot] com
 

MoJo

Sophomore Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Google Earth - Virtual Earth

Google Earth has a measuring tool that is suprisingly accurate in measuring the footprint of a dwelling and it is simple to use. The problem is, the images on Google Earth are not always clear.

Virtual Earth has superior images but no measuring tool. They do offer the 3DVIA program but it's way too slow and cumbersome.

I've been looking for something that would allow me to take measurements off of a Virtual Earth image onscreen or import a screenshot of a Virtual Earth image so measurements could be taken. Would Apex's photometrics be a solution?
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Mojo-

I have found Google Earth to be highly accurate whereever the photography isn't so rasterized as to lose clear image points...

on one amazing project I pre-viewed certain (commercial strutures) and found it hit the number within 3 INCHES on a 68'8" building Close enuff!

Randall - I missed the start of this conversation and lack the time to follow up - I sure would enjoy the ability to do CSI type extrapolations on photos by others - but <shrug> it isn't in any way a dealbreaker! I'd look forward to whatever you folks can put together - but encourage you to do what you do best in terms of continued emphsis on ease of use of the existing system... and development of a cheat sheet that I don't have to significantly modify!

(fairly infrequent user in need of memory jog):leeann2:
 

Randall Garrett

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Professional Status
IT Professional-Appraisal Related
State
Texas
Mojo,

The PhotoMetrics feature in Apex was designed to allow you to import an image and use it as a sort of virtual "template" to create scaled drawings with calculations. I believe this is what you are looking for (?) As I mentioned earlier, the PhotoMetrics feature in Apex Medina (current version v4.2.x) has some limitations. It was a "freebie" addition to v4 and is not as robust as some of the stand-alone applications out there. That said, with reason, you should be able to capture an image from your screen (the "tighter" or more zoomed-in, the better) and then use the "Load Image" function in PhotoMetrics to pull it in. You may then do some light manipulation of the background image (intensity, size, position, etc), set your scale from a known distance and then simply Define and draw the shape(s) like you normally would in Apex. Basically, you use the background image to "trace" the perimeter(s) and/or use direct input (i.e. 15.5 [right arrow], etc.) to draw, as appropriate. Heavy users want more image manipulation features and those are still on my wish list, but for what it is, PhotoMetrics probably does most of what you may need AND does it in your regular sketching environment. Below is a link to a video that does a quick run-through of PhotoMetrics. The part you are interested in is in the 6:40 - 7:40 time frame.

http://www.apexwin.com/v5/whats_new_apex_41.php

Give it a try and see if it works for you. If you are not currently an Apex user, you can download the demo and still try it out for free. If you think it might but need more info, PM me here or email me at the address below and I will send you additional video links that have more detailed "instructional" type info.

Hope this helps!

-Randall Garrett-
..Apex Software..

email: rgarrett [at] apexwin [dot] com


/end/
 

Randall Garrett

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Professional Status
IT Professional-Appraisal Related
State
Texas
Lee Ann,

Please feel free to email me with any thoughts you have on how I can make PhotoMetrics better for your purposes. I am always interested in constructive criticism... :) Sending me examples (sketches, images and descriptive text) is a big help in allowing me to understand what you're needing so don't hold back. No need to be formal - just send what comes to mind - I'll run with it and get back to you with any questions or requests for clarification... :)

As for a "cheat sheet", you can access this link to get the full Apex v4.1 manual (PDF) with Short Cut keys at the end: http://www.apexwin.com/v5/download/Apexv41manual.pdf

For just the short cut keys PFD, download this file: http://www.apexwin.com/v5/download/Apex_Medina_Short_Cuts.pdf

Save them to someplace convenient like your desktop for future reference.

FWIW, I have been on the phone with the developers today regarding the documentation and am requesting that these items be made available from within the program via the menus, as they were in earlier versions. Additionally, I am pushing to have a much more complete Video Tutorial library be made available from the menu systems. We've already done this for our Assessor version but it lacks a few days work to get it ready for the Fee Appraiser version. The full tutorial video library is pretty big - about 100 MB compressed - so if we do this for the next update, we'd likely offer two installs - one with the videos for installation "locally" and one without.

Hope this helps!

-Randall Garrett-
..Apex Software..

/end/
 

BOB PADRICK

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
thinking WAY out of the box...

another way to go would be to allow for inclusion of scaled objects in photos (essentially a scaled image laying against the wall, for example), indexed to known aspects of specific cameras (so you can adjust for known lens lengths et al), that could then do an edge detection and draw a scaled image from a sequence of photos

For instance, starting at the garage and going clockwise around the home, you could quickly generate a shell-then chop it up into GLA and sub areas from that.

I think you'd need to have the camera attached to a pc somehow in order for this to fully work-so it could capture distance and zoom info from the camera...that said, it would make drawings very quick, and allow for easy inclusion of 3-d models if you wanted to, complete with stiched photos and a virtual tour type output. Output it to flash, and make it available to your clients for a small price...could also work well with listing appraisals, as an added feature...

But I'm sure someone's already doing all this somewhere, right?
 

Pat Butler

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
There's a limitation to manually tracing a photo. The curvature of the Earth gets in the way, as well as distortions that come from the camera lens.

You could either use photos that have been corrected for this (as well as from camera distortion) such as the USGS DOQ's or use a program that allows you to adjust your own photos. Unfortunately, such programs are quite expensive. I use MapPublisher and Geographic Imager but unfortunatley those will set you back at least $2K.
 

Randall Garrett

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Professional Status
IT Professional-Appraisal Related
State
Texas
Pat,

Very interesting. Do you have links to those programs?

Regards,

-Randall Garrett-
..Apex Software..

/end/
 
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