My current app series focuses on The Five Workflows for Apps in Construction that construction professionals can use. This week I will explore the realm of photos apps for mobile devices. Do you remember in the old days (I.E. 2011) when construction Superintendents and Project Engineers had to document project conditions with digital cameras?

They had to walk a project to take progress photos of work installed, or damaged work, or safety items. Once they had finished the site walk they then had to go back to the field office and download the photos to their laptop and either try to upload them to a server over a land line internet connection or upload them to a thumb drive to send to their office to get uploaded to the server.

The question every company must ask to determine which photo app is best for them is a simple one: What is the goal of taking project photos? Some apps are great at taking and tagging photos, some apps are great at sharing photos with team members, and other apps are great at placing photos os plans. What is the real workflow you are trying to improve?

Here are a few great apps to try out for taking site progress photos with your mobile device…

FotoIn:

This ground breaking app allows users to take, tag, annotate and sync field photos in real time. FotoIn uses cloud connections such as Box, Egnyte, Sharefile and Sharepoint to move photo files from mobile devices to your server for storage and archiving. The FotoIn team have recently updated the web portal to allow users to create custom tags, custom reports and set up geo-fences around project sites. The app works on IOS and Android mobile devices.

Multivista:

This innovative app allows users to access project photos taken by the professional Multivista staff from a mobile device.  The photos are linked to your set of plans so you know where the photos were taken on site. The recent update to the app allows users to upload photos from your mobile device camera or camera roll, and add comments to the photos.

Raken:

This interesting app allows users document site activities easily each day by completing a report and attaching photos. While completing a Daily Report, Users can take and attach field progress photos. With the great built in SMS and Email notification feature, all team members can stay in tune with the daily site activities.

All in One App Options:

The following platforms are primarily used to distribute project plans, however they also take photos that can be attached to the project plans to document site conditions.

BIM 360 Field:

The BIM360 Field platform allows app users on mobile devices to add photos to the plans to document items such as a RFI, or weekly progress, and damaged work.

Fieldwire:

The Fieldwire platform allows app users on mobile devices to create tasks by dropping a pin that is a geo-tagged and specific to that project..  All tasks created are a generic catch all for to-do’s, deficiencies, observations, safety issues, etc. Task are created on a plan to document items such as weekly progress, damaged work or punch list. Users can attach a photo to every task so every team member can see what item need to be addressed.

Latista:

The Latista platform allows app users on mobile devices to add photos to the plans to document items such as a RFI, or weekly progress, and damaged work.

PlanGrid:

The PlanGrid platform progress photo feature allows users to pin photos directly to a project. All photos will automatically sync back to your online account, and will be available for all team members to view from the Photos tab of the project on the website. Photos can also be added to issue items to aid in QA/QC or punchlists, and can be easily archived at the end of a project.

Procore:

The Procore platform allows app users to add photos to the plans to document items such as weekly progress, damaged work or punch list. One unique aspect about the Procore platform is the permission levels. Use can make digital photos available to all team members with the appropriate permission. Those without permission can’t see the photos, while team members with the proper authority can upload, view, and download photos.

SmartUse:

The SmartUse platform allows app users on mobile devices to add photos to the plans to document items such as a RFI, or weekly progress, and damaged work.

Next week I will focus apps for Daily Reports.