NEW YORK, N.Y. - As the effects of Superstorm Sandy continue to unfold, Pictometry International’s high-resolution, oblique aerial imagery shot from a fleet of custom-built, low-flying airplanes is helping to better assess the extent of the devastation.

Aircraft from Rochester, N.Y.-based Pictometryl were deployed to many of the hardest hit areas, making low-altitude flights over the region. The company has already collected more than 160,000 data-rich, Sandy-specific images – 1.2 terabytes – that allow for before-and-after comparisons of property damage directly from desktops, tablets and other mobile computing devices.

Counties such as New York City and Ocean (N.J.) are employing Pictometry data to assist with clean-up; a primary electric utility is using the organization’s images for restoration in Westchester County; a telecommunications giant is tapping the images to rebuild its infrastructure; and major insurance carriers are overlaying policy and storm data on parcel maps to speed claims review.

“We are honored to be able to contribute to the recovery efforts by providing the tools responders need to better restore power, services and safety in communities that were hardest hit,” said Rick Hurwitz, chief executive officer of Pictometry. “Our unique aerial oblique imagery is providing a before-and-after comparison of the affected area so officials can assess the damage [and] more efficiently execute their recovery plans so that residents and business owners can begin rebuilding.”

Pictometry’s planes capture high-resolution images at an oblique angle, rendering structures and objects easier to identify and analyze. The images show each side of every structure, roadway and outdoor object. Since each pixel is individually geo-referenced, users can quickly and accurately measure height, distance, altitude and surface area directly on the images in real-time.

In the event of a natural disaster, having a before-and-after comparison of the affected area aids those who work in disaster recovery (e.g. clean-up teams, utility crews, emergency response teams and insurance adjustors) assess the damage, and either plan and execute a response or file and process insurance claims quickly so residents and businesses can begin restoring their lives and livelihoods.

Select images are available for public view