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PIM Tool Instructional Video: Getting Started Guide to Taking Aerial Images

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By Ali Lenjani1, Chul Min Yeum1, Shirley J. Dyke1

Purdue University

This instructional video is an outcome of JTRP Project SPR-4006, which focuses on the development of a Pay Item Measurement (PIM) Toolkit.

Version 1.0 - published on 13 Nov 2017 doi:10.4231/R73B5XBK - cite this Archived on 14 Dec 2017

Licensed under Attribution 3.0 Unported


Accurate and safe measurement of actual pay items placed is a critical step in the timely completion of a construction project. Currently this is an entirely manual process, with substantial risk to personnel as well as for human error. Thus, the ability to remove personnel from this hazardous environment and to reduce the chance for error is desirable. Image-based technology offers an opportunity to do both.

The Pay Item Measurement (PIM) tool package is provided as two complementary tools—the Orthophoto Generation Tool and the Graphical Measurement Tool—and was developed in close cooperation with field engineers from INDOT. PIM is specifically designed to incorporate the typical actions that field personnel follow and enable a safer and reliable approach to construction pay item measurements. Written instructions on aerial image collection are included in Chapters 5.1 and 5.5.2 of the technical report Image-Based Collection and Measurements for Construction Pay Items, available for download at

PIM is intended to generate orthophotos for measurements on a planar surface and take measurements of pay items from that orthophoto. This instructional video provides general image collection guidelines for aerial photographs that yield high-quality orthophotos and an accurate measurement. Guidelines here include an explanation of the process of how to collect suitable high-quality aerial images, which is a critical step for successful orthophoto construction. Several examples are included in the technical report Image-Based Collection and Measurements for Construction Pay Items that demonstrate the characteristics of high-quality image sets that will be successful, as well as image sets that will not. This customized PIM tool package will be most useful, and accurate, when the user guidelines are followed. 

More information on how to generate the resulting orthophoto and use it for graphical measurements are available in two companion video publications, PIM Tool Instructional Video: Getting Started with the Orthophoto Tool ( and PIM Tool Instructional Video: Getting Started with the Graphical Measurement Tool (

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