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: