Illustration: © IoT For All

Have you ever ever spent extra time than you need looking for the data you want? Or grown uninterested in patching collectively an entire image of your mission with a number of software program platforms and dense folders stuffed with drawings and different documentation? You are not alone. You want good Google Earth alternate options.

We hear the identical each week from mission managers, engineers, and superintendents; there aren’t many software program options on the market constructed particularly for big infrastructure initiatives. Juggling Google Earth and drawing administration software program solely goes up to now.

You lose time attempting to navigate your mission, knowledge falls between the cracks, and other people or supplies aren’t in the fitting place on the proper time. However what Google Earth alternate options are on the market?

Fortuitously, there is a extra intuitive solution to seize, handle, and share development knowledge: geolocated drawings. By visualizing your drawings and layering mission knowledge on a map, you may have all the pieces you want in a single place – simply digestible by anybody in your workforce.

Why Actual-World Location Issues in Development

Contractors are left with hundreds of paperwork, images, and different knowledge which might be siled throughout platforms or just crammed into folders, lists, and spreadsheets.

The present know-how obtainable means the constructed world is diminished to a stack of recordsdata.

We have seen with our prospects that monitoring supplies or just sharing a complete view of your mission together with your workforce could be a severe headache.

For that reason, contractors are turning more and more to mapping to higher visualize and manage key knowledge. However present strategies go away a lot to be desired.

The Mapping Standing Quo: Advert Hoc & Time-Consuming

Development groups perceive the worth of real-world context and infrequently flip to some type of mapping:

  • Printing out giant sheets of satellite tv for pc imagery to hold on the partitions of an workplace
  • Exporting drone or satellite tv for pc imagery as a PDF and marking it up manually in software program like Bluebeam
  • Utilizing Google Earth or Google MyMaps to make easy annotations

We have seen groups pair these annotated maps with spreadsheets or different hooked up documentation. However whereas these groups’ creativity and pragmatism needs to be admired, their options are restricted.

In every case, contractors have patched collectively an answer that:

  1. is difficult to replace to match the truth on the bottom
  2. shows solely a partial image of the mission
  3. is siled from different platforms
  4. is time consuming to create and keep

With this in thoughts, it is unsurprising that development groups do not use maps extra extensively. Maps ought to carry readability to a mission, not carry additional problems.

The issue right here is obvious: Contractors are compelled to create their very own mapping options or leverage software program that is not constructed for development.

Google Earth & MyMaps Aren’t Designed for Development

Google Earth and Google MyMaps are wonderful mapping instruments for the general public, not mission engineers. Development groups want Google Earth alternate options.

Although these platforms are used extensively, they threat losing your time, create difficult workflows, and fall wanting the true potential of development mapping.

Let’s look at the professionals and cons.


  • Each Google Earth and MyMaps are free. Laborious to argue with that, proper?
  • Google Earth affords easy-to-use drawing and annotation instruments whereas MyMaps offers an added diploma of customization.
  • They combine with different Google merchandise and supply simple mapping from a spreadsheet.


  • Google Earth and MyMaps do not help a combined dataset (drone imagery, development drawings, area documentation, and so forth.), present restricted element on the work represented, and have to be juggled with different platforms or documentation for a context-rich file.
  • It is difficult to collaborate with a workforce inside Google Earth and MyMaps, these instruments are siled out of your different development software program, and export choices are restricted.
  • Google Earth and MyMaps do not perform offline and have restricted cellular capabilities; they don’t seem to be constructed for the sector.

Google Would not Join Workplace, Trailer, and Subject

Google mapping merchandise are nice for most of the people, however they’re clearly not designed for development, the place collaboration is important and also you’re dealing with a number of totally different knowledge sorts.

By sticking with Google merchandise, you threat contributing to the identical issues that will have pushed you to maps within the first place: data silos, dangerous knowledge, and time wasted monitoring down correct data.

We see an alternative choice to Google merchandise within the evolution of development drawings. Whereas Bluebeam, PlanGrid, and Fieldwire have introduced contractors into the digital age, the following technology of drawings is on a map.

The place Fashionable Drawing Administration Falls Brief

Regardless of vital innovation within the final 10 years, trendy drawing administration instruments are lacking a important dimension of your knowledge: real-world location.

Development Drawings: Previous & Current

Paper drawings went the way in which of the dinosaur with digitization (with paperwork saved digitally in advanced submitting programs). Right here, Bluebeam affords a strong but straightforward solution to mark up your digital drawings simply as you probably did by hand.

Every thing’s additionally been linked in a single place for simple entry within the area. For instance, PlanGrid equips boots on the bottom with real-time entry to up-to-date drawings.

And software program like Fieldwire guarantees streamlined collaboration and the potential to connect key documentation to your drawings for a extra full file of labor.

There’s debate over which of those merchandise is superior, but it surely’s clear they’ve reworked the way in which contractors handle drawings.

Sadly, Bluebeam, PlanGrid, and Fieldwire share one thing else in widespread; they show development drawings stripped of their real-world context.

Google Earth Options: The Subsequent Era of Development Drawings

Fashionable drawing administration instruments should be paired with a map.

It simply is sensible to see your drawings on a map – whether or not that is a superintendent within the area directing crews on the day’s work, a mission supervisor assessing progress throughout a number of initiatives, or an engineer sharing updates with an proprietor. No matter you will have hidden deep in a folder construction can see the sunshine of day in your geolocated drawing.

Geolocated Drawings

You’ll be able to stake your drawings to real-world coordinates, toggle drawings on and off to replicate totally different phases of your mission, add mission stations, and overlay related environmental and geographic data.

combined knowledge set

For additional context, you may visualize the contents of your folders (RFIs, change orders, permits, tools, supplies, and extra) or dump a thousand photos and watch as they’re routinely geolocated.

Actual time progress

Plus, this data is not static. Crews can log inspections and different updates from the sector with easy knowledge assortment instruments – so you may monitor this progress immediately towards your drawing.

With a real-time map, groups can navigate your web site and fieldwork with ease. The place is their every day project? The related documentation? The supplies and tools? A employee can use their telephone’s GPS to see precisely the place they’re standing amid the data.

In the end, these map-based drawings not solely present nice Google Earth alternate options however are additionally the way forward for development knowledge administration.


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