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Katapult Pro Field And Upload Manual

Updated: 4 days ago


Within this guide, we'll provide helpful tips, discuss equipment and safety, and go over a brief outline of the field process before going into more detail below. Let us know if you have any questions, and we will update this guide as the platform evolves!

Contact us any time by emailing or calling 717-430-0910. Please leave a voicemail if there's no answer so we can get back to you ASAP.

"Pre-Design" Tips When Designing Jobs for Fielding

  • Split up jobs of more than 250 poles using the copy nodes tool

  • Create notes for your fielders in the job to point out portions of the map needing additional field confirmation

  • Communicate project scope and use map styles to assist field crews (i.e. use “flag for review” attribute on poles that will likely have down guys to help field crews remember to collect necessary data)

Tips for Field Collection

  • Make sure all equipment is prepped and lots of spare batteries are charged

  • Review the jobs for the following day, look for potential difficult spots, and prepare for the likely environmental conditions

  • Communicate with office staff when you encounter something you don’t understand

  • Lean on the side of caution (collect extra data) when in doubt to avoid re-collection

Required Equipment

To measure photos in Katapult Pro, you will need a calibrated camera (we often call this the "Big Camera" or "Main Camera") approved by Katapult Engineering for +/- 3” absolute accuracy at 50’ above ground. They are as follows:

  • Canon Rebel SL2 or SL3 DSLR Body with kit Canon 18mm-55mm lens - Distortion Correction must be enabled, must be in Program (P) shooting mode (Large image size, aspect ratio 3:2, no RAW)

  • Canon Rebel T3i-T7i, SL2 or SL3 with Canon 28mm-135mm (DISCONTINUED) lens - Shooting mode must be in Program (P) (Large image size, 3:2 aspect ratio, no RAW)

  • Canon EOS R100 Body with Canon RF24mm-105mm lens - Distortion Correction must be enabled, must be in Program (P) shooting mode (Large image size, aspect ratio 3:2, no RAW)

You will also need a height stick with known calibration targets at 16.5’, 14.5’, 10.5’, 6.5’, and 2.5’. We utilize a SECO 17’ leveling rod in the field. This height stick has red and white lines at each foot that allow photo calibration even when brush or branches cover calibration targets.

In order to interact with the design, associate photos, and make changes to the map, you will also need a smartphone with access to the internet or jobs that have been downloaded for offline collection.

You can purchase equipment packages from us, as well as height sticks and calibration targets by visiting If you have any questions, contact us at

Recommended Equipment

In addition to a calibrated camera and height stick, we also recommend equipping your two-person crews with the following:

  • DSLR Backpack for Gear

  • Rugged Camera for Pole Photos (we call this the "Small Camera")

  • Spare Batteries for Both Cameras

  • Wrist Strap for Smartphone

  • Stylus for Smartphone in Cold Weather

  • Portable Battery for Smartphone

  • Car Power Inverter for Charging Batteries and Devices

  • Power Strip for Hotel/Office Charging

  • SD Card Reader

  • SD Cards for Cameras

  • Camera Sleeve for Wet Conditions

  • USB-C Charging Cables

  • UV Protector and Lens Hood for Camera Lens

  • Tape Measure and Guy Gauge for Measuring GLC and Anchors

Additional Items

  • Laser - Useful for inaccessible poles, transmission poles, and encounters with dense vegetation

  • Bluetooth-Enabled GPS - Can be used to design locations from the field with superior accuracy

Field Safety

The Katapult Pro field methodology minimizes field exposure and uses two-person crews to improve team safety. Make sure your team meets or exceeds all internal and contractual safety standards regarding all work performed. Our team recommends implementing the following at a bare minimum:

  • PPE - Hard hat, high-visibility vest, safety glasses, protective footwear

  • Vehicles - Bubble light, AWD, slow-moving vehicle signs (if applicable)

  • Height Sticks - Clean regularly with Hasting’s wipes, retire after heavy use


Mobile Interface

Field collection in Katapult Pro is centered around photo documentation and the mobile interface. To access it, open Google Chrome on your device and go to (Safari can work on iOS devices as well.)

After signing in, you will see that the mobile interface revolves around the dropper in the middle of the screen. You can pan the map to position the dropper, and pinch to zoom in and out.

At the top of the screen, you can view your mobile hamburger menu on the left. Click on it to open the menu, then click "Toolset” to change the active tools that appear when you click the dropper. The menu should feel very familiar to the desktop interface, with a few small exceptions. If you select “Manage Offline Jobs,” you will have the option to cache job data for offline use.

You can go to the three-dot menu to download any offline data in the event of any issues re-syncing with the database.

Under settings, there are many helpful options that may assist in field collection, such as:

  • Auto-Zoom Checklist - Moves dropper to the next design feature after marking “done”

  • Center Map On GPS - Keeps panning the map to always be centered on your location, great for vehicle collection in which a navigator needs to follow along with the design

Mobile-Only Tools

You can access your mobile toolset at any time by clicking/touching the dropper in the center of the screen. There are a few tools that are specific to mobile that will be necessary for data collection in the field:

The navigation tool allows users to select a location from Katapult Maps and spawn a Google Maps navigation session that will direct the user to their design.

The sync photo allows multiple cameras to be synchronized with the Katapult Pro database.

The sync photo screen will pop up when you first open a job, or you can manually open it with the Sync Photo tool in the mobile toolset. Take a photo of this screen with all cameras being used for data collection whenever:

  • Your crew starts a new job

  • You change users or phones to interact with the design

  • Your crew starts a new day of collection

  • You change cameras

When you upload your photos at the end of the day, you will enter the information from these sync photos to automatically associate your photos. Make sure the time, date, time zone, and user are correct to ensure proper association.

If you have any issues with sync photos or photo association, contact us at support@katapultengineering!

The most important tool in mobile is your checklist.

This tool is typically automatically equipped after taking the sync shot, but should you ever need to manually equip the tool, you can find the tool in the mobile toolset by clicking on the dropper and choosing "Checklist."

The checklist tool allows you to indicate when your crew is finished taking photos of a design element, which places an attribute on the node or section, called a time bucket, allowing photo association back in the office.

After pressing “Done (Midpoint)" or "Mark Done,” a new time bucket will be created, indicating the window of time in which camera photos should be associated to that location.

You can also use the Undo Time tool to remove the last time bucket that you placed.

If you need to go back and take more photos, you can take the photos and select "Took More Photos" to mark another time bucket on that design element so that those photos will still get associated to the correct location.

Favorite Tools

Now that you know the different mobile tools, you can mark which tools will show up in your favorites menu so that you have easy access to them.

Click on the dropper to open your tools. The order you click the tools will be the order they appear in your favorites menu, so long press on the first tool you want to add to activate the "CHOOSE FAVORITE TOOLS" option. Then click the other tools in the order you want them to appear in the menu, then click "Done." When you leave the "CHOOSE ACTIVE TOOL" menu, you'll see a star in the top right corner of your screen. Click on this to access your favorites menu.

To clear the favorites menu, open the "CHOOSE ACTIVE TOOL" option by clicking on the dropper. Long press on a tool to activate the "CHOOSE FAVORITE TOOLS" option, then click the "Clear All" red button at the bottom.

Anchors and Downguys

Entering anchor information is a critical portion of the Katapult Pro fielding process.

Use the Anchor tool to add them to your design.

After entering the distance from the pole (we typically use the height stick or a laser for this measurement), use either the bisect or inline buttons underneath the distance and bearing to snap the anchor into the proper location.

After confirming the design, the software will prompt you through a step-by-step form to enter information such as rod size, number of eyes, strand sizes, auxiliary eyes, and anchor elevation. Later, during the back-office process, this information will be linked to the down guy height of attachments to be used in pole loading analysis.

Should you need to move the anchor in the office, the “Move Anchor” feature allows you to move an anchor with more precision. To utilize this feature, double-click on the anchor you want to move to open the Node Info Panel on the right hand side of the screen. Here you’ll find the “Move Anchor” button at the bottom of the Node Info Panel. When you click on the “Move Anchor” button, your mouse turns into a faded black dropper with a yellow line connecting to the selected node.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the distance and bearing for the dropper, and you can either move it to the correct position by clicking on a new location or type in the distance or bearing. Once you click on a location, this will move the anchor to the new location you have selected. If you wish to cancel this action and not move the anchor, you can click on the "X" in the “MOVE ANCHOR” modal at the bottom of the screen.

Field Workflow

After field crews have been fully equipped and have all necessary safety gear and PPE, office staff can prepare deployment maps of Katapult Pro jobs for intuitive deployment using the "Copy Nodes" power tool. Users can copy a starting pole from a series of jobs to a deployment map that can easily be navigated to by field technicians using the mobile navigation tool.

Data Collection

Once you have arrived on site, your field crew will roughly follow the photo documentation outlined in the flow chart above.

1) The process begins with sync shots. Take a photo of the sync shot screen with any and all cameras being used to collect data. These photos will allow the software to recognize the offset between camera photos and the actual time, associating all photos to the correct locations.

2) The next step is collecting data for your first midspan. Let's go over the Big Camera (or Main Camera) Operator's responsibilities first:

-Confirm Design. Use the mobile field tools to draw, move, and edit nodes, references, and connections to match existing conditions.

-Take Midspan Height Photo. Once your crewmate has the height stick in position, take a photo with the base of the stick up to the highest conductor in frame. Make sure you are standing perpendicular to overhead lines.

-Mark "Done (Midpoint)." Once all photos have been taken, the Main Camera Operator will use the phone to indicate that the midspan measurement photo has been captured. Because the location of midspan measurements has an implication on make ready engineering, users can choose to place midspan sections at either the midpoint in the connection or over a critical crossing.

The Height Stick Operator has three main priorities while capturing midspan data.

-Safety. Be mindful and careful of road crossings and traffic when collecting midspan data. Lower the height stick from the top section down (as needed) to avoid coming into contact with conductors.

-Holding the height stick. Make sure the height stick is facing the proper way and as straight as possible. Ensure that as many calibration points are visible as possible. Hold the height stick directly underneath the overhead cables. If you're not directly underneath the cables, you won't collect accurate measurements.

-Communication. Make sure to communicate with your partner to ensure they know which overhead lines you are standing underneath so they can mark the correct span "done." They should also communicate with you when they have taken the photo so that you can move on to your next position.

3) Once all midspan data has been collected, it is time to move on to your first pole. Again, we will start with the Main Camera Operator's responsibilities:

-Confirm Design. Use mobile tools to ensure that the job design matches existing conditions.

-Hallway Photos. Take full frame photos in landscape orientation of your subject pole and the other poles it is connected to. These photos can often be taken at the previous and next midspan positions to start and end each pole's collection set. These photos are taken for context and are often used to assist in back-office processing.

-Pole Height Photo. Once your Height Stick Operator is in position, take a portrait orientation photo of the pole at about 45 degrees from whichever side has the best lighting and visibility of equipment such as power risers that may need to be measured for make ready engineering. Make sure you are standing the pole height's distance away from the pole. (If the pole is 40', stand 40' away from the pole.) If you stand any closer than that, you'll be introducing the issue of parallax and may produce bad data.

-Side Photo. Side photos are context photos taken in portrait orientation that are zoomed in profiles of the pole from the lowest communication attachment up to the top of the pole. We take this photo from both sides to ensure that our engineers have the necessary context to make good make ready engineering decisions.

-Communications Identification. We also take zoomed in photos of comm wraps to identify attachers present on poles.

-Transformer Size. This is a shot of the transformer to help identify the size of the transformer. This shot is only needed if you can see the number on the transformer and will be used in pole loading workflows.

The Height Stick Operator, in the meantime, has other responsibilities.

-Holding the height stick. The most important photo taken at the pole is typically the height photo, which means the Height Stick Operator's first priority is typically holding the height stick in an optimal position for the Main Camera Operator to get a clear height photo. Make sure the height stick is flush against the pole and that it follows the natural lean of the pole, if applicable. There should be no space between the height stick and the pole as you hold it up against the pole. If you leave space, this could adversely affect your height measurements. Be sure to keep all calibration targets visible and alert your partner of risers or other equipment that may require taking your height photo from a different angle.

-Pole Tag Photo. Use the small camera to document any and all pole identification numbers found on the pole. If there are none, use the "NO TAG" sticker on the back of the height stick to let your office staff know that none was found.

-Birthmark Photo. Use the small camera to document the pole's height, class, species, and year, if applicable. If this information cannot be found or is illegible, capture a photo of a groundline circumference measurement (if needed) and a photo of the "NO BIRTHMARK" sticker on the back of the height stick.

-Bearing Photos (Upshots). These photos are taken with the small camera against the pole. These photos can be used to measure bearings of equipment and conductors for pole loading analysis.

-Grounding Photos. These photos are taken to indicate grounding information found at the base of the pole. Typically this is to indicate either the existence of grounding or a cut ground wire.

-Back Photo. This photo is taken with the small camera from a third angle that provides context for back-office processing, especially with risers and other equipment. Taking a second Side Photo with the main camera can replace this shot.

-Anchor Hallway. A photo taken with the pole in the picture looking towards the anchor and down guys. You want to frame the photo to see the base of the pole and the down guys to the anchor(s). Be sure to capture space on the down guys above the guy guards and include the stick or measuring device in the photo.

-Anchor. A picture of the anchor when one is present is useful to verify anchor details. Be sure to capture the rod and eyes in the photo. It is useful to see the lead length measurement in this photo as well.

4) Once all pole photos have been taken, the Main Camera Operator will mark the pole "Mark Done" and continue moving forward throughout the job.

Uploading Photos

When the field crew gets back to the office, hotel, or their home, the next step in the process is to upload all field photos. We recommend offloading all photos to an external drive under a folder indicating the date and crew members' initials who collected the data. This way, if the upload gets interrupted, you still have a repository of all your fielded photos.

*Be mindful if you're using a Canon camera; the cameras keep sequential count of the images, starting at IMG_0001. When the camera hits IMG_9999, it creates an entirely new folder. This happens once every 10,000 images, so make sure to look for that additional folder of photos to upload before formatting the card.

Next, go to (or choose "Upload" from the App Tray) and select the number of cameras' photos being uploaded.

Drag and drop the photos you would like to upload, and then press the next arrow in the bottom right. Then, choose whether to select the sync photos automatically or manually. The system will take some time to scan through photos and find the sync photos if you choose for them to be selected automatically.

Once the you or the system has found a sync shot, enter the field details exactly as they appear in the sync photo. You may receive a warning that photos will not associate correctly, which typically means that the sync info was entered incorrectly.

Once you have finished entering sync information, you can continue uploading your photos. Towards the end of the upload, you'll have options to notify project managers, notify remote processors, and associate photos on upload. (We recommend associating after classifying photos, which happens after uploading them.)

Make sure that you keep the tab running with consistent Internet connection while your photos upload! Otherwise they might look completely gray with an "Error" text on it and will need to be re-uploaded. Once the photos have been successfully uploaded, back-office processing can begin.

Thanks for reading! We'll continue to update this field manual as the platform grows. Questions? Send them our way at! How can we improve our documentation? Please leave a comment below!

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