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10 Common Misconceptions about Virtual Site Visits

May 2, 2022 12:32:42 PM

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL SITE VISIT?

Our Virtual Site Visits platform is an easy and low-cost way to access spatial data of your building or project – from any device and without any burdensome downloads. We take the measurements captured by our team on-site and turn reality capture data into an easy-to-use digital twin of your building. When owners, facilities managers, architects, and contractors utilize the Virtual Site Visits platform, they can easily access laser scan data of their building. Given the popularity of this platform, we’d like to clear up some common misconceptions that we’ve seen recently.

 

Virtual Sites Platform

 

 

10 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS


1. Virtual site visits are costly and only meant for large projects.


One of the more common misconceptions is that what we provide is prohibitively expensive. The truth is we’ve provided virtual site access for projects of all sizes and budgets. From a small house to an entire apartment building, from a single retail space to a whole commercial development, all properties benefit from the ability to provide a Virtual Site Visit. No matter the size of the building, there are economic solutions to “getting on-site without having to physically get out on site.”

 

2. I have to download software to access my virtual site.

There is no software required to access the Virtual Site Visit of your building. Once we have processed your data, we will provide your team with a web address that allows access to your building’s Virtual Site Visit. So, there is no software installation required, you only need to access an internet browser. 

 

3. The data in the Virtual Site Visit platform will be shown in grayscale.

Another misconception that often comes up is that the data will only appear in grayscale. We like to remind our clients before starting a project that they have an option for either grayscale scanning or color. Color scanning requires advanced planning and once the project is started in grayscale, it cannot be converted to color. Color scanning is typically employed when our client needs to know the context of their building and understand what type of materials they’re working with. We also can blend color scans with grayscale. For example, we can scan the exterior of a building in color, then the interior in grayscale.

 

4. The Virtual Site Visit platform will show me every inch of my building even if the Existing Conditions team wasn't provided access to certain areas.

You will only be able to examine what was visible and accessible when the building was surveyed. Even though we wish that the scanner and the camera would allow us to see through the walls of the building, unfortunately, they are not able to do that. The good news is that if you decide later that you would like access to areas we have not scanned, we can visit the site again, collect more data, and re-integrate that newly collected data set into the existing one.

Virtual Site Visit Platform

 

5. The Virtual Site Visit platform is difficult to operate.

The great thing about our virtual site visit platform is that it is extremely user-friendly and incredibly easy to learn. The software is connected directly to your Revit model so you can navigate your Virtual Site by means of the model itself. It also works on any device with internet access,  so you’ll be able to use it on your phone, your iPad, or your computer. Our team is always available to help answer any questions you may have following delivery. Our goal is to provide our clients with a full understanding of their data so they can make informed decisions. 

 

6. Google Street View will give me the same information the Virtual Site Visit platform will.

Existing Conditions' Virtual Site Visit platform is similar to Google Street View, except it is laser-accurate data, not based on photogrammetry. Dimensions can be taken from any view allowing your team to see the condition of the site at the time of the survey. This software is incredibly intuitive and it allows you to seamlessly travel through your building as if you were on site. Google Street View does not show inside your building. And when it comes to exteriors, it’s always helpful to have up-to-date imagery. Even though Google Street View provides visibility to many urban exteriors, their data is typically captured months, or even years, in the past.

 

7. Only one person can access the Virtual Site Visit platform at a time.

Another misconception about Virtual Site Visits is that only one person can work with the data at the same time, but the platform actually allows you to have multiple users working on it and adding information, simultaneously. The platform is built for collaborative work. Your team can concurrently add notes, take measurements, and share area calculations.

 

8. Even with the Virtual Site Visit platform, our architect will still have to go to the building to take measurements.

There is a misconception that architects will still have to go out to the building to take measurements after our work is complete, but our cutting-edge laser scanners can capture everything visible at the time of the survey. As long as our team is provided access to all the spaces that require measurements, you’re going to be able to use this free web-based tool to calculate distance and area without having to worry about going back for a specific measurement. The Virtual Site Visit platform provides a very high level of detail. A site visit will always be important for architects, but this platform is a useful tool for reducing the number of trips to the job site.

 

9. The Virtual Site Visit platform will only give me information about the building itself

Not only does the Virtual Site Visit platform provide details about your property, but it also can provide a general overview of the surrounding areas. The view is comparable to Google Street View, so you have complete access to the environment your project inhabits. With your Virtual Site Visit access, you gain a complete digital twin of your building and complete situational awareness. Our Virtual Site Visit platform provides multiple layers of data, including photographic data and measurement data. Each layer of data can be viewed through different perspectives such as a bird's-eye view, or a street-level view, providing the complete context of your building.

Virtual Site Visits Platform

An urban commercial property as viewed from the Virtual Site Visit Platform

 

10. The Virtual Site Visit platform is only helpful for building measurements.

The ability to access and create building measurements is only one feature of the Virtual Site Visit platform. You’ll have access to your point cloud data online without the hassle of any downloads, providing you with the ability to make quick decisions based on laser-accurate data. You’ll be able to collaborate with other members of your team, making your planning and design process more efficient and seamless. 

 

What are you waiting for?

Having access to a web-based model that provides point clouds of buildings and assets will increase productivity and help your team stay efficient. Ready to learn how to take your project planning to the next level? Provide your team with a smart collaboration tool that allows for quick decision-making by closing the gap between the physical and digital world. Connect with one of our experts today to get started. 

 

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Jared Curtis

Written by Jared Curtis

President, Existing Conditions

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