Visualise spaces with panorama photos linked to PDF

Video (5min)

A quick survey method, where a general overview is required quickly, would be to use 360/180 degree panoramic photos. These are good to quickly identify conditions in spaces and also relationships with other rooms (through doorways) and to show items such as window/door locations, fixtures and fittings and general surface conditions. It is not a method for quantification.

It is quick to do, basically taking one or two photos per room. A hand sketch can be used to show relations of rooms in the building (see above). These images can be linked back to the room/space to connect to Panoramic photo over a web browser as shown above.

One of the issues with viewing over the web browser is file size of images. The cameras I am using have images coming in 2 sizes, 0.6Mb and 4Mb size files. Obviously the larger file sizes tend to load a lot slower. See the example above. Download the PDF here.

Here is a comparison for the two different file sizes and level of detail. Link to comparison.

It is possible to set up the plans linked to local files, these read very fast  on a computer (not checked yet over lan, but I would not see any issue with file size there).

Using the PDF key plan to:

1/ clearly indicates room numbers so buildings can be consistently defined and room number references are clear. Good for when getting contractors to do work, you can send link to plan and identify component and room that the component resides easily.

2/ Gives everyone an understanding of what is to be done, and can converse over phone with web browser open or use screen capture & notes to describe work. Eg image below

Screen shot of panorama used to note work that needs to be done. This allows for clear instructions to contractor without the need to be on site to supervise the work.

The photographic panoramas are good for:

1/ Showing the condition of the house at a point in time.

2/Good for showing positional geometry of spaces and elements such as windows, doors , joinery and fittings in the spaces.

3/ Good for showing inter relationships of rooms.

4/ Good for insurance claims. (Eg water damage – Before & possibly after photos)

5/ Good for Earthquake checking (Cracks in walls/stairwells/Window & Door frames distorted, shelving etc falling off walls). So good for item 4 above.

6/ Good location reference with key plan.

Some issues:

1/ Reading on mobile devices. For iPads/iPhones you have to download the PDF via iBooks to see the red boxes to click on links to Panoramas. For the Android system there may be an issue of downloading the PDF and viewing it in a PDF viewer first too. A little bit more time consuming, I haven’t thoroughly tested this OS system yet.

2/ The process requires a special viewer to be able to explore the 360/180 images. Apparently you can use facebook that has a viewer for this. I am using web browser viewer at the moment, it seems the easiest way to control, but currently writing an html file per image.

3/ Camera. There are a couple of choices. You could use your mobile phone with the Google Panorama App , an example of how you take the panorama photo is:


I have used the Ricoh Theta camera (5MPx) and the LG 360 (13MPx). Both have an app that you can use to take the photo remotely so you are not in the image. You do need a tripod to do that though.

Free Hotlinks with Marzipano tool

This is a new tool, the Marzipano Tool that I have not seen before.

I made a test of trying to link a few images with Hotlinks and information buttons. Here is an example.

Other information

I came across these posts on the web, they follow on with some interesting insights:

Using 360° Photos To Enhance Your Deliverables – Volume 1

Using 360° Photos To Enhance Deliverables – Volume 2: How to Integrate with Current Software

This article suggests you can share with Google Photos which views panoramas. I need to test this out.

Using 360° Photos To Enhance Your Deliverables – Volume 3: Integrating with Automated Software

The Cupix tool I will trial but the Struction Site seems pretty steep for viewing a few images & the Holobuilder doesn’t even give you a price, so I wont even bother trying that one. Why would I want to waste my time trialing something without knowing if its pricing is exorbitant? Since I have to chase them up to find the price when it is easy for them to give an indicative price on their website I would not want to do business with this organisation.

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