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Sat 4 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Surveying goes mobile

Rob Jones, Gräbert UK’s corporate sales director, talks about his company's SiteMaster software, which promises error-free measurement which saves onsite time and cuts costs.

Surveying goes mobile
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Rob Jones, Gräbert UK’s corporate sales director, talks about his company's SiteMaster software, which promises error-free measurement which saves onsite time and cuts costs.

Can you tell us about Gräbert?

Gräbert UK has been in operation for about three and a half years (originally called GiveMePower UK) and was set up to distribute Gräbert SiteMaster Software (Gräbert has a providence of nearly 25 years in the CAD industry).

The software suites that have been developed are based on the Gräbert CAD engine which is AutoCAD compatible and operates on Microsoft Windows XP/Vista, Windows CE and Windows Mobile 6; allowing us to make the CAD package mobile for the surveyor, architect or anyone who reads and or creates a CAD drawing in the field. The CAD engine we use has been delivered to nearly a million users world wide either as a stand alone or as an OEM product.

How is SiteMaster relevant to the surveying industry?

SiteMaster software is a series of solutions that has been designed specifically for the professional mobile surveyor allowing them to create AutoCAD compatible drawings whether it is for floor plans, building, topographical, set out or façade surveys while on-site.

The design of the software is based around an easy to use graphical user interface, Bluetooth (or sometimes a serial cable for certain total stations) from the measuring device to produce fast and near finished drawings.

These drawings are accurate every time and with the built in QA layer a drawing can always be inspected, ensuring that consistency is achieved. Unlike the traditional tape, pen and paper method, which can be more labour intensive and incur repeat visits because of error in writing measurements, and having to do a two- part process instead of one.

SiteMaster uses standard layering convention, which can easily be representative of current client preferences and drawings are saved in either .DWG, .DWF .FLX. and can be exported to bitmap and Jpeg.

Through our continuous development programme we have designed specific features that allow for additional data collection, voice notes, photograph and document insertion plus the ability to export all data collected to a CSV file, all of which speeds the process and guarantees a great working standard. Our software ensures that you carry out the survey in half the time at half the cost and with 100% accuracy.

All of this is achieved on Microsoft Windows Mobile devices used every day by most of us in one form or another. A huge bonus is that Gräbert SiteMaster is a very complimentary investment (in AutoCAD or other CAD packages that save or read .DWG files.) as SiteMaster allows you to save from version R12 through to 2008.

Isn't it difficult to get surveyors and companies to accept this technology?

It can be, but not once they realise how beneficial it is to their workflow in achieving 90% of the drawing in the field, it certainly opens the mind to this investment and how quickly they can achieve a return on investment.

Most surveyors use a laser measure, a total station, a laptop or some form of computing device, we are the glue that works to make their investments work a bit harder and certainly a lot smarter. Therefore, whatever the size of organisation, the investment made in SiteMaster is a very sound business decision.

Simply put if it took a day to measure 500m2 it would then take a second day to draw it up, SiteMaster does that in one day. Therefore, you have increased productivity reduced cost and increased accuracy in one swift movement.

SiteMaster empowers the person in the field to get it right first time and as it is mobile, a surveyor in the field can actually send that CAD drawing over the internet, email, or GPRS back to his office for advice or as a near finished article for finalising and putting on to a drawing sheet.

Is this software relevant in the Middle East market?

Absolutely, the Middle East is key to the construction industry today as it is probably the biggest developing market. It is a very exciting market and we are currently in negotiations with a key distributor and we are looking forward to announcing our new partner very shortly.

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