ikeGPS is changing the way the world is measured, utilizing its smart laser measurement solutions to capture, record and export measurement data.
What was once next to impossible to measure, became easy, safe and fast
When your role encompasses building operations and facility management, taking measurements is a daily task. Whether it’s measuring damages for repair, windows for energy use, or renovations and office improvements, building operations needs to be able to quickly and safely capture measurements and a photographic record. However, some of those projects can be next to impossible to reach with a tape measure or require the assistance of others. These measurement tasks were significantly simplified when the Esri Broomfield Office began using Spike, a mobile laser measurement solution powered by location intelligence technology.
For the last 28 years, Kathy Burton has worked for Esri, the world leader in spatial analytics and maker of ArcGIS, the world’s most powerful geographic information system (GIS) software. In her current role as Regional Office Administrator and Building Operations for the Broomfield, Colorado location, she is responsible for the day-to-day building maintenance and operations of a demanding office. The Esri, Broomfield facility is unique in that it is owned as opposed to leased, which means all requests regarding building maintenance and improvements fall on Burton’s shoulders.
Any budgetary decisions pertaining to facility improvements need to be approved by Esri’s corporate headquarters in Redlands, California. “Since our corporate headquarters is almost a thousand miles away, in order for the decision makers to be able to identify with my requests, I typically need to send photos and measurements for projects I am pursuing. Oftentimes it is difficult to get the measurements I need because the ceiling is too high, or the tree is too wide, or the ledge is too hard to get to,” says Burton.
ikeGPS is an Esri Business partner, and Burton heard about Spike from one of the Business Partner Managers who was testing the device and thought it might be of use to her in her facilities role. “It seems like I am always running around with a tape measure, measuring something. I was loaned a Spike device and I started using it for various projects. I was having so much fun with it, and it was making taking measurements so much easier, that I had to have one for myself” adds Burton.
One of Burton’s first projects using Spike was when she was tasked with having security cameras installed in Esri’s parking lot. She first had to get measurements of the light poles where the proposed cameras would be, then make note of any obstructions in the vicinity of the light poles. To do this, she used Spike’s Point-to-Point measurement tool on the Spike app coupled with her iPhone. Burton says, “getting the measurements I needed was an easy task with the Spike unit. I took photos of the light poles and the surrounding area, then took a height measurement of the pole itself and of any trees that were nearby. With this information, we know where obstructions exist, and decisions can be made on mitigation.” Burton admits that prior to using Spike, she would have had to make a wild guess on the measurements that were out of reach with a tape measure.
The light pole project was a huge undertaking and Burton was thankful to have Spike in her toolbox. Being able to send Esri corporate headquarters photo records of the light poles with measurements included on the photo made the approval process go much more smoothly. Burton credits Spike as a huge time saver to her workflow. She was able to take the light pole measurements in about 20 minutes and estimates it would have taken hours and a lot of guesswork before.
Since using Spike on the light pole project, Burton has begun integrating Spike into more and more assignments – even on ones that she could easily complete using a tape measure. Burton says, “using Spike has made the task of measuring so much easier. Instead of using my tape measure and writing down each measurement in addition to sometimes having to guess at measurements because the object(s) I need to measure are not really accessible, all I do is take a photo with my phone, and I have the information that I need.”
Most recently, Burton used her Spike during the renovation of a conference room. She was able to capture the dimensions of the room using Spike’s Photo Measurement tool on the app then uploaded the photos to the Spike Cloud where she calculated the desired measurements. Having the photo record was vital to this project as it allowed them to see where light fixtures were located and wouldn’t compete with where the projector and screen needed to be installed. Burton has also used Spike to measure ceiling heights in order to request the right amount of scaffolding for a light replacement project, in addition to measuring Esri’s employee kitchen to gain approval on adding a second refrigerator.
Burton immediately saw the value of Spike after its first use. Not only does it save her valuable time, but it allows her to complete projects by herself and safely. Before Spike, she would often need the help of another person to hold the other end of a tape measure or the base of a ladder when she attempted to access the hard-to-reach areas. Burton says, “with Spike, I can just attach the unit to my phone, take a photo and have accurate measurements within seconds. Not only do I have the measurements I need, but they appear right on the photo so I can share my results instantly.” She continues, “I would definitely recommend Spike to my colleagues. When you are responsible for the maintenance of a facility, this tool makes life so much easier. Spike has been a big time-saver for me.”
Want to learn more about Spike?
Visit our Spike product page to see how Spike can help you work more efficiently and save on your bottom line.
In speaking with Spike users at recent events and with partners, I’ve learned that the relatively new Point-to-Point Measurement feature on the Spike app is not as widely used or known about as the Photo Measurement tool. So, I want to make sure you are aware of this powerful tool and know how to leverage it on your signage projects.
Point-to-Point allows you to capture a linear measurement between any two points, such as the distance between the base and top of a pole or ground clearance to the side of a building. Unlike Photo Measure, Point-to-Point is not same-plane dependent and the two points can be horizontal or vertical to each other.
In my experience in the sign industry, one of the biggest use cases for the Point-to-Point tool is to measure setbacks. Each county has their own guidelines for permitting, and Spike makes the submission process that much easier by producing a photo record with the measurements included. Before Spike, I would use a measuring wheel to collect my setback measurements, sometimes even having to stand in a dangerous roadway to do so. Using the wheel would never be as accurate as I needed it to be when the landscaping had uneven terrain or rocks. With Spike, now all I need to do is snap a photo of my proposed sign location and a photo of the county or city setback limit using my smartphone or tablet, Spike, and the Point-to-Point feature on my Spike app. My measurements are instantly calculated, and a photo record with data included can then be easily exported for inclusion in my permit application and plot plan.
In addition to calculating setbacks, Point-to-Point Measurements are also useful to determine the clearance between the side of a building and landscaping, the height of a light or flag pole, the correct-size ladder or boom truck to reach the top of a sign, access points for an installation team, or heights of a pylon sign. Point-to-Point Measurements allow you to work quickly and capture hard-to-reach measurements from a safe distance.
To take advantage of Point-to-Point, simply aim Spike at the first object, such as the side of a building, and take a photo. Then, keeping your feet planted, pivot to the second object, such as a tree, and take a second photo. Spike then calculates the distance between the two points, and unlike with Photo Measure, there is no need to complete the alignment rectangle step. For the best accuracy, keep the two targets within a 90-degree arc, and make sure you’re standing at least 20ft away and within 325ft of your objects.
Click here to view a video demonstration on using the Point-to-Point Measurement tool
You can also find detailed instructions on how to use the Point-to-Point tool in this article from our Spike Support Center.
If you have any other questions about how to leverage Spike’s Point-to-Point tool, please get in touch. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Glenn Chambers
Glenn Chambers, business development manager for ikeGPS, is a 15-year signage industry veteran. Prior to joining ikeGPS, Glenn was an enthusiastic Spike user.
constructionequipment.com recently profiled Spike, and how Spike turns smartphones into professional surveying instruments and works with AutoCAD. The article also mentions the Spike case study with Carbon County, UT and how they use Spike frequently for their Road and GIS department projects. Construction Equipment is a publication dedicated to equipment professionals, covering topics from equipment product reviews, product technology and development, and machine acquisition.
Learn more by reading the article here.