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9 Reasons 360 Capture for Reality Mapping is Easier Than Ever

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360 capture project walkthrough

In the past, construction, inspection, and engineering stakeholders who wished to perform reality capture needed to utilize laser scanners to create an accurate and measurable virtual duplication of the job. Also known as a digital twin, this resultant asset unlocked a host of benefits, including more frequent construction progress monitoring, improved quality control, increased adherence to schedule, and more. 

However, with the evolution of reality mapping technology, stakeholders no longer need to utilize laser scanners to maintain a digital twin of construction progress or the current conditions of an asset or infrastructure. In fact, the best photogrammetry technology now allows stakeholders to utilize inexpensive and easy-to-use 360 cameras to perform fast and accurate reality capture.

In this article, we will zero in on nine reasons why 360 capture is easier than ever before.

1. 360 capture devices are relatively inexpensive

Unlike laser scanners, 360 cameras are relatively inexpensive devices that organizations can actually own—not just rent. This allows more organizations to perform reality capture that much more frequently. After all, the device is inexpensive to acquire and can be kept on the job site indefinitely.

Related: What Is a 360 Camera for Construction Reality Mapping?

2. Virtually anybody can operate a 360-camera

Unlike laser scanners and drones, which require expert personnel to operate them, 360 cameras can be used by virtually anyone on the job site. From contractor to project manager to trade, using a 360 camera is intuitive and requires almost no training.

3. 360 capture is high-speed

While laser scanning is incredibly accurate, it's expensive and quite slow. As a result, most stakeholders reserve laser scanning for final documentation of projects' as-built conditions. On the other hand, 360 capture is the gold standard for frequent construction progress monitoring because it is so easy, accurate, and fast.

In fact, a 360 camera can capture about 1000 square feet of a job site in only a minute.

4. “Capture walks” don’t have to be perfect – or the same every time

Another reason 360 capture is easier than ever before is that, with the right photogrammetry engine, there is no reason to stress about performing each reality capture walk perfectly.

For example, Reconstruct can blend footage and connect the dots between images to “reconstruct” a project (in 3D and 2D) even if the person performing reality capture did not follow the same route or capture all the same things as last time.

5. 360 cameras can be attached to a hard hat or a “selfie stick.”

When it comes to using a 360-degree camera to capture reality on a construction site, getting great capture results doesn’t require purchasing a ton of extra and expensive equipment, either. Best practices for a good capture ask that stakeholders simply use a hard hat or selfie stick for steadier, better footage.

All the stakeholders need to do is walk the capture path, and the 360 camera automatically grabs panoramic, immersive footage of everything around them.

6.  Georeferenced reality capture happens automatically

When using a photogrammetry entrance such as Reconstruct, the 360 footage captured is automatically pinned to the right location. This geo-referencing leads to incredibly accurate 2D floor plans and 3D site surveys without the headache or resource burn of manually pinning images against the floor plan or satellite map.

Related: Geo-Referenced Reality Capture For Construction Stakeholders

7. Timestamping is also automatic

When your 360 capture is ingested by a reality mapping engine such as Reconstruct, that footage will also be automatically organized over time. The result is a true Time Machine for Construction™ that allows stakeholders to turn back the clock and inspect the digital twin at any other date or time when reality capture was performed.

8. 360 capture footage can be blended with footage from other devices

One thing that makes Reconstruct’s reality mapping engine so unique is its ability to combine footage from various devices into one single source of project truth. That means that stakeholders can combine photos and videos captured on not only 360 cameras but also on smartphones, drones, laser scanners, and more.

As a result, stakeholders can choose the right technology and tools for their budgets and use cases. For example, 360 cameras are perfect for getting an immersive and holistic view of the job site. Smartphones offer excellent and high-resolution images of more complicated work and are ideal for capturing complex in-wall installations. Drones are perfect for exterior shots or capturing otherwise unsafe and inaccessible assets. And, as noted, laser scanners are often used as final documentation.

9. Old footage from existing 360 cameras can also be used

Another aspect of cutting-edge reality mapping technology is that it is never too late to integrate existing 360 capture data into a project's digital twin. With Reconstruct, old footage previously captured can be blended with newer footage from any device at any time. That means if your organization has a backlog of data from previous or current projects, it's never too late to transform that into a digital asset automatically pinned in space and over time.

Related: Turn Existing 360 Camera Videos Into A Measurable Walkthrough Of Your Job Site

About Reconstruct

Reconstruct is a top-rated reality mapping solution that allows users to rapidly capture job site footage using 360 cameras. That footage is automatically blended with all other reality data to create a single source of project truth for remote and on-site stakeholders.

To see if Reconstruct is right for your project, schedule a free and personalized demo today.