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Product Spotlight: Data Collection

Updated: Jan 22

Data Collection is our base software offering, as well as the foundation which all Katapult Pro workflows are built upon. These tools and workflows will be all your team needs to configure project details, design pole attachment routes, collect accurate and defensible field data, upload and process your photos, measure existing conditions, propose a new attachment and guying, and deliver custom exports based on the pole owner requirements.

Project Details

The Data Collection offering includes access to the Model Editor, which allows all paid users the ability to update attributes and picklists, map tools, custom photo deliverables, and more. We recommend that teams work with their Client Manager to understand how much of their final deliverable will work using Default Models, and how much will need user-side tweaks.

An example of this would be an attribute called “Operating Center.” If each pole in your design will need this attribute to be filled out prior to export, you would need to add this attribute to the Model Editor and then add it as a default attribute for all poles drawn using the Aerial Path tool, or it will need to be bulk-added after design using the Multi-Edit Attribute power tool.

Designing Attachment Routes

Whether you know your existing aerial path or you want to collect measurement data to evaluate potential make ready costs, the Data Collection offering provides your Katapult Pro users with the tools they need.

After setting up any project-specific attributes or map styles, you can import a design or start from scratch. We recommend avoiding design from the field whenever possible to limit your field technicians’ exposure and leverage the comfort and speed of the back office to your advantage.

When designing from the field, we recommend doing all necessary design before starting photo collection to improve the safety and efficiency of both steps.

When importing existing designs or routes, you can choose between CSV import, KMZ import, or reference layer (SHP) import. While CSVs and KMZs bring in node locations and data, reference layers are more of a visual reference to assist in designing using Katapult Pro map tools.

Collecting Field Data

From a software perspective, there’s very little that is required of your team when using the Data Collection offering:

  • Take a Sync Photo with all cameras being used for collection

  • Verify or update all design as it exists in the field

  • Indicate when each pole and midspan has been collected using the “Mark Done” button

  • Add downguy/anchor details if needed

So that’s the easy part. The other parts of fielding include:

  • Making sure you have the right equipment and PPE

  • Navigating safely to the correct location

  • Photo documenting all necessary information quickly and safely

  • Hiking for miles through brush in the heat/cold and other tough conditions

  • Making it home in time for dinner

You can read our full field manual here and see some brief glimpses of the fielding process here.

Photo Uploads and Processing

Once your fielders return to their home, the office, or a hotel, photos from all cameras are uploaded to Katapult Pro and connected to their related project (“Job”). At this point, designers or clerical staff can sign into their accounts from anywhere to begin calibrating and categorizing each photo. Using photo input routines, staff can quickly call out the calibration targets on each pole and midspan height photo, and enter birthmark and pole tag information.

Entering this information in bulk allows less experienced or clerical staff to directly contribute value to the workflow while keeping more experienced designers focused on the next steps of the process. When the photos are verified to be associated to the correct locations using Katapult Pro’s automated photo QC, the pole top measurement, birthmark data, and pole tag information can be automatically pulled onto the pole’s attribute information using the “Scrape Photo Data” office tool.

Measuring Existing Conditions

The Data Collection offering includes “Cable Tracing View,” which is a side-by-side view of neighboring poles and their shared midspan(s). This allows the rapid placement and tracing of annotations throughout your job. These annotations and tracing allow the measurement and export of attachment and equipment data to pole profile sheets and other deliverables. These annotations become even more important when using Katapult Pro’s Make Ready Engineering toolset, with make ready and pole loading functions.

Proposing New Attachments

Once the comms and necessary power elements have been fully annotated, you can use a keyboard shortcut to automatically insert your proposed attachment. This can be used to populate necessary deliverables. By default, this will come in at 12” above the top comm and will be traced through the selected span.

Some pole owners expect or require additional make ready from applicants, but in many markets this may be the end of your process.

Delivering Pole Data

Every pole owner is different, so you will need to export your attachment data accordingly. Katapult Pro has a variety of data export options to serve every scope:

  • Custom Pole Attachment Profiles - one of our primary advantages is turning repetitive clerical work into a one-click, automated export. This requires coding on the backend, but we typically include a custom attachment budget for new signups to make sure your team can experience this benefit with minimal cost.

  • Shapefile or CSV Export - many of our clients already have data automation set up, so sometimes raw data dumps via shapefile or CSV are helpful. Katapult Pro has a variety of ways to export map, attribute, and height data in this way.

  • Configurable Photos and Maps - Katapult Pro Photo Forms and Map Prints can be created with your own branding and selected attributes for delivery.

Data Collection is offered at a monthly cost to companies in the Katapult Pro platform, and stacks seamlessly with our Make Ready Engineering offering.

Thanks for reading! If you’re tackling a pole attachments project, our team has the tools and experience to support you! Contact us to schedule a meeting to discuss your projects and find out more about Katapult Pro.

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