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The Katapult Method: Part 4

Updated: Feb 22

Once all the job photos have been uploaded to the cloud, our remote staff members begin processing each image.

This step, called Photofirsting, involves calibrating height shots, identifying different types of pictures, and entering pole tag and birthmark information. Check out our Photos Overview and Classification for more information on the Photofirsting process.

Depending on the week, our photofirsters may have as few as 500 photos to process, or as many as 10,000. By processing photos in bulk, our remote staff allows our office staff to focus on extraction, make ready, and pole loading.

When the photos have been processed, we associate them to the job and scrape the information from the pole tag and birthmark photos.

From here, our office staff begins extraction: a process in which we measure attachment and equipment heights while tracing cable ownership throughout the job. An important part of extraction is Cable Tracing View, a tool which allows us to view two neighboring poles and their shared midspan.

Starting with the first pole, we mark the cable and any equipment heights.

This provides a helpful visualization of the various attachment and equipment heights on each pole, but it also is necessary for calling make ready and custom exports.

By entering attachment and equipment information on the calibrated photo, we are also preparing the pole for pole loading analysis. Crossarms, insulators, transformers, downguys, and more can be measured and specified for integrated pole loading.

Our mapping software automatically measures span distances, but we also need cable diameters to perform PLA. When we click on a midspan cable, we are prompted to enter the diameter.

When all the data has been entered, the job is ready for the next step.

If measurements and cable identification were all that was needed, the job is complete! If make ready was needed, we propose make-ready moves that would allow the pole or midspan to meet NESC or GO 95 regulations. If pole loading is needed, we use our Integrated Pole Loading tool and get real-time loading results right inside Katapult Pro. You can get accurate results without needing licensing for a third-party software. Or you can download the JSON or PPLX file necessary for the PLA platform.

Once the file has downloaded, it can be opened in the pole loading software and analyzed with just a few clicks. We can also download the annotated height photos, or a variety of other helpful spreadsheets to organize the data from the job.


This concludes our series on the Katapult Method. Our methodology shines brightest on high-volume projects, but our size also allows the flexibility to make changes and create custom solutions quickly.

Whether you have a large pole survey project or you need a custom software solution for a niche problem, our team will be happy to support you. Contact us at (717) 432-0910 for questions!

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