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Is this possible to create?


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#1 Mikbergs45

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 05:34 PM


I work for a roofing company that does flat roof restoration. Generally these roofs are over 50,000 sq. Ft. I can go to google maps and find any roof I want and get a good estimation of the size using google maps. I was wondering if something could be created that would find all flat roofs over a certain size in a given location (ex. Chicago, IL) and list them with there info and address? This would be very helpful for the business. I have no idea if this would be possible. Any of your ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 06:18 PM

I would think that this would be between difficult and impossible given the way maps work. Even large scale - high resolution - maps tend to show buildings as mostly rectangles of one sort or another, detail of roof design is not the sort of data usually included.

 

You might well be able to get this sort of information out of Google Earth since it is a picture, but to get this level of detail you would be looking at a very small area which would not contain many roofs. It might be possible to write a program to do this but I think that would be a fairly daunting task: define area of interest (reasonably easy); define a 'roof' (?); measure each roof; list all greater than 50,000 sq.ft. (or 225 ft2 ). Your hardest part would be defining 'roof' in terms a program would understand.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Mikbergs45

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 06:45 PM

Thanks for the info Chris! Do you know where I could seek out someone who might be able to do this? I don't know if we'll pursue it, but I'd like to talk about it with my supervisor.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 07:19 PM

Well...there are surveys/inspections of flat roofs within some areas...I would assume that such are costly.

 

Some Google Links.

 

Louis



#5 r.a.d.

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 07:51 PM

hamluis is close to a possibility, what about (possibly online as well) commercial building records as they would show specs, sq. ft. and other info to broaden your target base? I know actual blueprints require owner authorization usually, but the rest would probably be free.

#6 Mikbergs45

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for the replies! I have tried to look for records online but haven't been able to find any. I think that there are those records out there. If there would is a database with all of that info, that would be great.

#7 r.a.d.

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 10:42 AM


Doesn't seem easy here, a quick search example below:

http://www.google.com/search?q=search+commercial+building+specifications&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

I've no expertise in your field, but in the past when trying to find an answer to a question, a phone call to a live human to point me in the right direction has often helped me to a resolution (in your case, maybe county hall of records, city hall...).

Also, a forum (sort of like this computer forum) geared toward the trades might help where you could outline your intentions, and possibly know of such an online database.

A last quick thought: since you started with Google maps, isn't there a street view function that would show more building detail?

That's all I can recommend, and with a wide readership that visits here, someone with better knowledge just might chime in. Hope you accomplish your goal.

#8 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 06:13 PM

I would be inclined to go along with R.A.D's suggestion - try a live body !

 

StreetView is a function of Google Earth and it definitely has its uses but you must remember that the camera was mounted perhaps 2.5m or 8-9 feet off the ground so looking up you are only going to see the edges of higher buildings which will not give roofing details. I suppose if you can't see the roof then it is probably a flat one . . . but !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#9 r.a.d.

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 08:11 PM

Chris Cosgrove, exactly my thought when recommending street view, a sloped roof would show, as long as the commercial (most I've seen have flat roofs) building isn't too tall.
Hope the OP succeeds, there must be a data base with the city/county that could more effectively narrow down the search field, but finding who/where... ?

#10 managel

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 07:12 AM

It would pretty difficult to do from Google Maps even for a software.  You can try putting a project specs in some of the freelancing websites and see if someone can make an app that can do this.   Try Upwork.   May someone will have a solution. 


Edited by managel, 30 September 2017 - 07:12 AM.


#11 paulhurm

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 11:26 PM

One possible idea to check is the county Auditor website. In my OH county at least, (and a very few others I have looked at) the property records show at least a rough diagram of buildings, including dimensions. I do think that telling if the roofs are flat or not is probably not discernible from this record though. Plus it would take looking up each property individually. Probably not a real solution but a thought.

 

Paul



#12 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 06:28 PM

Here is a report into what seems an interesting piece of research. It seems that the Ordnance Survey - the UK's Government mapping service - is currently researching ways of identifyng and classifying roof types from the mapping data they hold. It may not be of immediate relevance but does suggest that ways to solve the OP's problem are at least somewhere between here and the horizon. From 'The Register', 14th December 2017.

 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/14/ordnance_survey_ml_experiments/

 

Chris Cosgrove






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