By Ryan Mastowski

Project Manager, Land Development

Akron-Canton Office

RETTEW is constantly using new technology to help solve real-world problems and provide clients with options they never had access to before. With the panoramic photographic (pano) process, RETTEW keeps clients and staff up to date with what’s happening on a jobsite anywhere in the world from the safety of their home offices, reducing the need for and cost of traveling to the actual site.

By using our new VIRB panoramic camera, RETTEW’s Survey group can capture a 360-degree image of the site from any accessible point. For a typical site, we would capture dozens of photo points to provide a client with the sensation of being on location without the travel costs or safety risk. Using static photos can be difficult to get a real feel of the jobsite without actually being there.

The pano process allows us to track the progress of a project from anywhere in the world. It offers clients an entirely interactive experience, just as if they were there. Additionally, it captures everything visible from each point, which would have taken a series of multiple shots to accomplish traditionally. This allows clients to focus on what they need to review instead of relying on someone else to decide what the focal point of the shot should be.

RETTEW has already put this new technology to work on several projects this year. A client from New Jersey was concerned quality control would be impacted by a travel ban her company had implemented due to the pandemic. She asked RETTEW to provide a solution that would allow her to monitor the site remotely. And our answer was the pano process! RETTEW staff is going to the site bi-weekly and at key construction milestones to provide our client with the information she needs to stay on top of her projects.

Our first site visit using the pano process documented 38 points across the site providing a full 360-degree view of the project. These points were mapped geographically on a site map, allowing our client to remotely “walk” through the site and view construction activities from different angles. Not only does this save our client the cost of flights and hotels, but it also saves time. It allows anyone with the link to perform their own site inspections, document the progress over time, and minimize their overall costs. The final product will include a website that allows the client to switch between pano visits easily from anywhere internet access is available.

While this pano process started out as a value-added service, after two site visits our client is now requesting the pano service be included on almost all projects. It is a great way to enhance safety and communication between RETTEW and its clients while providing out-of-the-box solutions to challenges we now face.