ikeGPS is changing the way the world is measured, utilizing its cloud software and smart laser measurement solutions to capture, analyze and manage asset information.
For consultants with J.S. Held, leveraging technology is of utmost importance to effectively complete tasks and deliver top quality reports and documentation for their customers. J.S. Held is a multi-disciplinary national and international construction consulting firm, specializing in construction, property damage assessment, project and program management, forensic engineering, and environmental consulting services.
With more and more of the world’s leading companies shifting towards integrated mobile solutions for field work, J.S. Held is focused on finding mobile technologies for their consultants that allows them to capture the field data they need more efficiently without sacrificing quality. Brian Beatty, Assistant Vice President and Area Manager for J.S. Held’s Denver, Colorado office, found that integrated mobile workflow solution when he discovered Spex and Spike.
Spex is a mobile inspection platform customized for insurance and construction professionals. According to Beatty, “with Spex, as you’re out in the field you’re creating your locations, your rooms, and you’re taking photographs and entering your content in every single location from your iPad. It’s happening in real time and there’s nothing to be done on the back end. You just go back to your hotel, connect to Wi-Fi, upload, and walk away. That’s the beautiful part of Spex, having the speed of the backend data handling."
As he began using Spex, Beatty discovered Spike, a smart laser measurement solution that is integrated with Spex. Spex and Spike act as a tool that allows adjusters to do a state of completion analysis, and is not only ideal for field adjusters but for construction consultants. Adjusters are able to capture laser accurate measurements by taking a photo with Spike and their mobile device, and that photo record with the measurement data are in turn automatically incorporated into a Spex report while in the field.
Beatty believes that using Spike together with Spex is a powerful and fast mobile solution for field work. “When it comes to estimating and doing takeoffs quickly, that’s the brilliance behind the technology of Spike and Spex together. It’s having one person, and that’s their sole focus, to evaluate a site and obtain accurate exterior shots for use in estimating at any point later. Because we use the Spex platform, data syncs over Wi-Fi, which allows us to send information back to the office to our estimating group no matter where they are in the world. Then they are doing takeoffs utilizing the data. This data is so key for us, it’s speeding up the process.”
Beatty uses Spike in the field with an iPad mini, and has found that Spike’s benefits are its ability to be versatile, fast, and accurate. “Spike is incredibly accurate, from a ROM (Rough Order of Magnitude) perspective or final estimating perspective. I can still get the same accurate data and we can pull exteriors on a single-family property by walking the outside of a house in 3 minutes. On a commercial building it might take you 10 minutes,” says Beatty. “Using wheels, tape measures or lasers, that may or may not work in sunlight, can take two, three maybe four times longer than just shooting an image and walking away."
Another perfect scenario that Beatty discovered for using Spike is on large scale commercial projects like malls. He is able to walk the entire building exterior and take all the photos in less than 30 minutes. He can then return to the office, and have staff take the measurements and add the photos with measurements to his report. Hand measuring a building of that size could easily take half a day to complete.
When asked how he would previously measure exteriors of buildings Beatty replied that he would have had to use measuring wheels, laser distance measurers, or tape measures. He would also have to extrapolate data based upon his previous field experiences and assignments.
A recent example of where J.S. Held deployed Spike with Spex into the field was Hurricane Harvey. J.S. Held sent hundreds of consultants to Texas to handle the catastrophe losses, and they were required to report upon thousands of damaged structures in a very short period of time.
“Using Spike with Spex allowed our field consultants to provide a quick turn-around on photo reports. Due to the amount of losses we were receiving from Hurricane Harvey, using Spike to take photos with measurements enabled a photo report to be produced instantaneously. The photo report along with a Preliminary Repair Budget/ROM (Rough Order of Magnitude) was provided within a short period of time following the initial site inspection. This allowed the claims examiners and adjusters the ability to review photos of the damages as well as our ROM. Providing an initial report in the most expeditious manner was a huge benefit. I will definitely use Spike and Spex on any catastrophes that I work on in the future, and will make sure that my team does as well,” says David McLaughlin, Assistant Vice President/Area Manager with J.S Held’s Austin, Texas office.
Beatty believes that another benefit to using Spike on assignments is that the image is a record of accurate measurements. Spike produces an authoritative piece of content, or a photo verifiable record, because the measurements are layered on top of the captured photo and can be shared with customers and added to reports.
Today, Beatty and his team find Spike incredibly useful for projects that require measurement data on the exteriors of properties, from single family homes to commercial buildings. He uses Spike to measure damaged exterior features such as siding, EIFS (exterior insulation and finish system), panels, windows, roof lines, eaves, gutters, elevations, and multiple sections of different materials that need to be divided up.
J.S. Held has now deployed more than 320 Spike devices with iPads across the US to their field teams. “We haven’t been able to find a faster or more useful combination in the field, it has changed our business,” concludes Beatty.
Learn More At:
Expanding Availability of Integrated Solution of Spike and Survey123 for ArcGIS
ikeGPS announces new distribution agreements for Spike with three of Esri’s International Partners, expanding upon the early success witnessed by Esri in the US. These agreements make Spike, a smart laser measurement solution, available to Esri’s user communities in Spain, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao, Vietnam, and Morocco, supporting the recent integration of Spike with Esri’s Survey123 for ArcGIS®.
The three new resellers who will be promoting the joint solution of Spike and Survey123 to their user communities include: Esri España (Spain), Transpar Company Limited (Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Vietnam), and Geomatic (Esri Morocco also covering North Africa).
According to James Pardue, Senior Vice President of Spike Sales with ikeGPS, “the fact that Esri’s international partners are committing to resell the integrated solution of Survey123 and Spike is a testament to how impactful this solution is to so many industries around the world that need a better solution for mobile field data collection. Taking field measurements shouldn’t be complicated and expensive, and it should be extremely efficient to collect data and update your geodatabase.” Additional international partners are anticipated to be announced throughout the remainder of 2018.
Survey123 for ArcGIS is a form-centric data collection app that works with Spike on Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets. Geared for the novice to intermediate user, this integration allows field workers to quickly, easily, and safely measure areas, heights, widths, and the offset location of assets that are difficult to reach, such as a building or road signage, simply by taking a photo with a smartphone or tablet, all within the Survey123 for ArcGIS app.
Learn more about:
Survey123 for ArcGIS: survey123.arcgis.com
Esri España (Spain): www.esri.es
Transpar Company Limited (Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Vietnam): www.esrith.com/en
Geomatic (Esri Morocco): www.geomatic.ma/en
The adoption of Spike by municipalities and counties is growing quickly, and it’s no surprise considering how many different applications there are for Spike. Many of these applications require the collection of both location and measurement data, and the ability to update these assets in a geodatabase.
Since Spike is cost effective and easy to use, it’s also easy to deploy to those who aren’t surveyors or engineers. Not to mention that with Spike’s integration with Esri’s Survey123 for ArcGIS®, the inspecting, assessing, and reporting of these assets and features is as easy as filling out a mobile form in the field, taking a photo, and automatically updating a geodatabase.
Oftentimes, the GIS department acquires a Spike for use on a particular project, such as annual signage inventory, and has great success and a positive ROI on the project. Following the success of their first project, they are on the search for other applications where Spike could be used to lower costs and speed up completion time of a project.
We have compiled a list of the top six applications where Spike can be deployed across local government departments with immediate success:
1. Transportation – Applications for Spike in transportation include signage inventory and road maintenance. Counties are required to maintain databases of all ground signs, and equipped with Spike, road departments can measure and locate signs, and have a photo verifiable record for their databases. Road maintenance can benefit from taking measurements for material estimates and for measuring and locating culverts and bridges.
2. Code Compliance and Inspections – Spike is an essential tool for code compliance and conducting inspections, because Spike enables inspectors to measure and locate hard-to-reach objects. They can verify new construction and building improvements by quickly measuring heights and widths, and use the photo record for code enforcement. Inspectors are oftentimes not given ladders or allowed to leave the ground to measure taller features, and Spike enables them to measure from the ground by taking a photo from their smartphone or tablet.
3. Emergency Management – Spike belongs in the toolbox for emergency management, and has been used many times for disaster response and relief. During the assessment of disasters, damaged assets are typically difficult to access and difficult to document. Spike enables officials to catalog the location of damages, estimate materials needed for repair, or even complete FEMA funding application documentation - all from a safe distance.
4. Facilities Management – Spike can be used to measure, locate, assess, and report both interior and exterior features of properties, simply by taking a photo of the feature. Examples of how Spike can be used for facility improvements and repair include graffiti removal to energy efficiency measurements and parking lot light poles.
5. Assessments – Assessors frequently are unable to access the property they are required to measure and value. Equipped with Spike, assessors can measure the lengths of exterior walls using Spike’s point-to-point measurement capability. These measurements can then be used to develop a floorplan, and the photos used as a photo record.
6. Asset Management – Asset managers can easily catalog assets and update their databases by using Spike. From a single photo taken with Spike and a smartphone or tablet, asset managers can capture the GPS location of the asset, a photo verifiable record, and any measurements needed. All of this data, as well as photos, can then be uploaded into a geodatabase for easy reference and record-keeping.