Google has just released a new photo app with unlimited cloud storage called Google Photos. Cloud based photo applications are nothing new, and, in the construction industry, they allow supervisors can take photos in the field and the project manager can see them back in the office instantaneously. However, the new Google Photos app takes photo storage to the next level, even scary levels at times. The technology in the app can actually assign keywords to the pictures you take automatically using photo recognition software allowing users to search photos using "keywords" to find objects or locations in your photos! Not only that, it can also automatically create panoramas and animations, turning your pictures into an effortless time lapse of your project. Every construction project should be using the new Google Photos phone and desktop app.
Unlimited storage space. I know this sounds crazy as many of our jobs take up thousands of photos. It is hard to believe that these can all be stored in the cloud for free, but in this case, it's as good as it sounds!
With everything stored in the cloud, I can easily share all of my photos and albums with the owner, architect, or my coworkers without having to send multiple emails or spend time shrinking the size down to meet email size limitations.
I use my phone for personal use and work use, which means I have take tons of pictures that don't really relate to each other. The Google Assistant is able to automatically assign keywords or "tags" to each one of your pictures so you can search for like pictures without having to do anything manually. Now, with a simple search of "Construction", I can quickly sort all of my construction photos from my personal ones, as you can see below. The auto-keywords aren't always correct though, so there will be some things you have to do on your own. Also, if you allow geo-tagging of your photos through your camera app Google will allow you to search by location. So if you have multiple jobs you can easily search between them.
This time I searched for "Foundation". The results are pretty amazing!
This week I took four photos of a mess that was made on my job site. By the time I got back to my computer the photos had magically been stitched together to make a panorama thanks to Google's photo assistant! Panoramas aren't the only thing that Photos does either, it can also turn a group of pictures into an animation, instantaneously creating a time lapse with just a click of a button. Even if the assistant doesn't automatically create a panorama for you, you can still select a group of pictures manually and create one yourself. The group of four photos just below this are the ones I took and the panorama below is what Google created automatically:
And the panorama created:
Here's a second group of pictures Google automatically created into a panorama:
And the second panorama:
There’s no doubt that drones are the hot technology item for the construction industry. They allow you inspect your overall site more quickly, take aerial photos for marketing and documentation, measure tonnage and volume of on-site stockpiles, and even monitor employee productivity. Now, one company has designed a drone that can safely inspect structures for damage and detect cracks as small as .0039 inches wide (.1mm), when fitted with an HD camera.
One thing’s for sure about Milwaukee Tool, they aren’t satisfied with putting the same tools out year after year. They’re constantly improving age old classics and leading in the innovation of new tool solutions. Their latest announcement is a variation on their extremely popular line of M18 tools.
There’s no doubt that construction is one of the toughest jobs in the world, but there was a time when power tools and heavy construction machinery didn’t even exist. Even with those tools being absent on job sites, amazing structures were still built for thousands of years and with extremely intricate detail. SO how exactly did they do it? Tons of manpower and tons of time, something that many modern jobs don’t have the luxury of. Ignoring all of today’s modern conveniences, a group of French construction workers and other skilled tradesmen and women have teamed up to build an authentic 13th Century style castle.
Even though self-driving vehicles are just that, self-driving, they’ve always still had a seat for a driver and a steering wheel. Perhaps that means that designers were afraid that their technology wouldn’t work correctly. Or maybe, customers weren’t fully committed to only being able to use them as a self-driving vehicle. Well, it seems as if Komatsu isn’t worried about either of those things anymore, as they’ve officially unveiled their newest autonomous (self-driving) haulage vehicle this week at MINExpo, which was held in Las Vegas from September 26-28, 2016.
There’s no doubt that road work can be a huge inconvenience to drivers, but many times businesses in the route of the work can suffer more, even causing some to have to close permanently. While many projects around the country have been navigating towards pre-fabricated and modular construction to reduce the time workers actually spend on site, a project in Canada will be opting for the giant inflatable tunnel method.
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This 6-1/2” circular saw fits perfectly into the light duty category for circular saws. With the 4.0ah battery, 50 degree bevel, and 4000 rpm saw speed this model delivers performance comparable to many of the heavy duty saws on the market while still keeping a very reasonable price point.
Concrete, the construction industry’s building material of choice for hundreds of years, is an extremely tough and durable product. Being such a rigid product, concrete has inherently poor tensile strength, which is its ability to withstand being stretched, as opposed to compressing. This poor tensile strength leads to cracking, which eventually leads to failure. Scientists have been racing to discover the cure to concrete’s cracking problem for years, most notably Henk Jonkers’ bio-concrete, which uses microorganisms to “heal” cracked concrete.
The newest challengers to the material’s flexibility problem are a group of scientists from Nanyung Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. The team calls their product “ConFlexPave” and it not only bends under pressure, unlike concrete, it’s also thinner and maybe even stronger than its traditional brethren.
We have a lot of safety rules in construction and it’s practically impossible to monitor your job site for compliance of every single rule. To complicate matters, many rules are based upon exposure limits, especially when airborne particles are involved. OSHA recently reduced the allowable exposure limit of silica dust, which is found in concrete, stone, and brick, before additional PPE or engineering controls are required. This rule change has caused a lot of grief among construction industry groups, who called the rule technologically infeasible, because what contractor is really set up to measure when 50 micrograms of silica dust per cubic meter of air is actually reached?
Twitter, the social media site that people seem to either love or hate, has made people more aware of their surroundings and can be a soundboard for controversy. For some companies, Twitter is used for a large part of their customer service program, responding to complaints within the 160 character limit. Now, it seems, contractors could potentially have a powerful watchdog looking over their shoulder, as long as the tweets land in the right hands.