Your job is underway, and you have to track its progress — often. Documentation is essential for protecting your firm, holding trades and subcontractors accountable and communicating effectively with stakeholders about scheduling and budget.
But traditional methods of documenting walkthroughs are slow and tedious. Traditionally, this has been accomplished by snapping lots of still photos and storing them on a hard drive. But typical folder structures used to store photos on your computer are confusing. They make it difficult to locate a photo of an exact location or area of your jobsite at a given time. You might have to sort through hundreds of photos before you locate the one you need.
This method is also imprecise. No matter how many photos you take, chances are you can’t piece together every inch of a jobsite seamlessly. This leaves room for error — and a gap in your documentation.
An alternative method that’s gaining in popularity among construction firms is the 360-degree walk-throughs, made possible by more advanced construction camera technology. These 360-degree walkthrough inspections help track progress at every stage of a project and reduce documentation time by more than 50%.
The way it works is fairly simple. New 360-degree cameras capture two images or video files from dual lenses, each with a 180-degree field of view. They then stitch together still frames seamlessly, producing an unbroken 360-degree image of your jobsite and filling in the gaps that still photos leave. You end up with comprehensive photo documentation that is impossible to dispute.
In addition to enabling more thorough documentation than the traditional method of snapping still photos, 360-degree walkthroughs offer several other advantages:
- Improve Communication: A 360° view of of your jobsite throughout different stages of the project eases communication with key stakeholders and trades. Footage can be shared easily with everyone involved — even remote stakeholders — reducing the need for travel and enabling detailed information about project status to be disseminated quickly.
- Reduce Costs: Using 360-degree photography for walkthroughs and inspections saves time and money. Construction cameras can transmit video footage and photos of the jobsite to project management software, where it can be organized by location, date, time and other parameters. Not only do you avoid having to upload, catalog and store hundreds of still photos, you can capture the images as quickly as it takes you to walk the jobsite. When you need to locate an image of a specific area of the jobsite on a specific date, you have fewer files to sort through, and can easily zero in on the moment and location in question.
- Boost productivity and planning: A 360-degree camera that’s connected to project management software aids in project planning by enhancing team collaboration. Footage can be shared with remote team members who can view and annotate the images. Reviewing 360-degree images of a jobsite can help teams identify and fix mistakes or potential problems early, helping to keep the project on-schedule and on-budget.
- Increase safety: Video and photo documentation from 360-degree inspections can alert project managers to potentially dangerous site conditions, so they can take rapid action — even if they are remote. This footage can also be used in safety training for jobsite workers, to help them understand potential risks and how to prevent accidents. And if an injury occurs or a legal issue arises, you have complete and thorough photo documentation.
- Strengthen client relationships: Building owners can use 360-degree videos and photos to discuss project status, dependencies, scheduling and costs with clients, helping to speed decision-making, explain delays or request budget increases.
Construction cameras are an essential tool for construction firms looking to improve security and productivity, reduce risk and enhance marketing efforts. TrueLook offers a wide variety of construction site cameras to fit your needs. View a demo today to learn more.