Wow Factor: Image Integration: A High-Productivity Approach to Managing Digital Photography

A 220Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Surveyors today employ a variety of ways for documenting their field surveys. Measurements and descriptions are recorded in electronic data collectors. Audio recorders can be used to record comments and parol evidence from property owners and other stakeholders. Field books contain sketches and detailed notes. Crews also frequently use digital photographs to provide visual documentation of monuments and work sites.

But digital images can introduce some challenges in the field. The survey crew must remember to take the necessary photos while on the job site. And they must be sure that the photos are correctly correlated to the measured points or features. On a project where there may be hundreds of points and photos it is crucial to have a fast, error-free way to attach the images to the survey points. During download, the images must be kept with the other field data and managed on the office computer system. Trimble Surveying Systems offer functionality designed to make it easy to include digital imaging into the standard survey workflow.

Using Trimble® Business Center software, surveyors can define feature codes that include attributes for attaching an image or other file to a point. In the field, Trimble Access™ or Trimble Survey Controller™ software can automatically prompt for the attributes and remind the crew that an image is needed.

Most crews have ready access to either a camera or a camera phone with WiFi or Bluetooth. These devices can capture and transfer image files wirelessly to the TSC2® Controller. The operator can then assign the images to survey points as the survey is conducted or after all data collection is complete. Crews can even assign multiple images to a single point. Once the images have been attached, the Trimble system provides seamless management of the image and data files.

With a Trimble VX™ Spatial Station, it’s even easier. Using the built-in camera surveyors can shoot, store and connect an image to a point in a single operation.

Before leaving the job site, the system helps the field crew verify that all of the required images are stored in the data collector. They can even view the images in the field to ensure good quality and complete visual evidence.

In the office, the transfer to An automated prompt reminds the field crew to Trimble Business Center automaticcally brings in all of the field data and image files. After that, it’s simple to recall and view the images that are attached to a point. The image files are stored separately alongside the field data, and users can easily access them for utilization in reports and other project documentation.

For enhanced data management, Trimble Access software provides direct connection to the office. With the AccessSync™ feature, survey files can be continuously synchronized between field and office, and images can be sent to the office for near instantaneous review and analysis. Trimble Access enables field crews to provide detailed information to the office and receive fast, secure turnaround on changes and decisions before they leave the job site. 

A 220Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE