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Measurement app?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Lea Marc, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Lea Marc

    Lea Marc Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    Hi guys,

    Hoping anyone can help me. This is a strange question but I'm sure I'm not the first person to ask this. When we send someone out to measure ahead of a job for installation such as a window decal, signage or vehicle, they will go out and take a photo and take down measurements. The problem is though that sometimes measurements are missed or not accurate enough. saving another trip to the location (which could be quite a long way), are there any apps for and iPad (yes, I know) where you can take a photo and it will work out the dimensions of things or at least give you the ability to edit the photo and write the measurements on it?

    I looked online and there's some for roofing companies but not sure if this will do what we're looking for. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    If the photos are straight on, scale the photo to the measurement you have and everything else should be simple enough to figure it out.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

    Dec 3, 2015
    Niceville, FL
    Cut two magnets at 1" x 12". Make one white and the other black. When you go out to the site either slap the magnet on to the surface and take the photo or tape the magnet on. Use the magnet to scale in your design program of choice.
    • Like Like x 1

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

    Jan 5, 2012
    Lone Star State
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Pippin Decals

    Pippin Decals Active Member

    May 29, 2015

    This is the same thing i do..Depending on how big or small the area etc is depends on what size of square i use.. either a 3"x3" ,6"x6", or even a 12"x12" inch square. take a picture and you have what you need and its pretty accurate if you take a photo on straight for when i bring it in to Ai cc
  6. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

    Sep 8, 2016
    Arlington, TX
    We have the Stanley Smart Measure Pro device, similar to the ike Spike. Uses an ike App. It's good, but not good enough. Using the method these other guys are talking about is probably the best way. It's still good to get a few measurements by hand.

    The best thing I've done is created a "Site Inspection" sheet that has a labeled space for every possible measurement that'd be needed. No more guessing which number is what or when they say "trim" when they meant "lip" or whatever. Makes my life easier, compared to when the guy looses the photos from his phone, twice...
  7. dale911

    dale911 President

    Jan 31, 2012
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have done very well with the Stanley smart measure. You have to be sure to try to take the pic while on the on the same plane as the item. I used it from over 200' away to shoot one building and it was accurate within 2" on a building that was 125' wide. I take multiple photos with it and also take a couple base measurements to verify that everything is accurate. The best thing it's for though is taking pics of signs on poles and buildings where it's not cost effective to bring out the bucket truck for a quote. Highly recommend it. Also note that the Spike by Ike is licensing the technology from Stanley and then they added features to their software that are sign specific but I didn't think it would be with an additional $300. Stanley smart measure is under $100 on amazon

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

    Feb 14, 2016
    The ol' measure twice, cut once applies here.
    No camera App will give you correct measurements. That people tend to forget is that a photo from a camera is not perfect. It's actually distorted from the curvature of the lens. You may not see it, but it's there. A good examples are photos from "wide angle lenses" Most phone cameras have a wider angle lens. so the measurements from the middle to the side, even if the photo is dead on straight.. the measurements will be out.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    Perhaps, but I've been measuring all manner of things with a camera and a framing square for lo these many years and everything as been sufficiently accurate.

    Tape a standard 16x24 framing square to whatever it is you want to measure.

    Take a picture making sure to include the framing square. Its a boon to shoot straight on minimizing and angular distortion but it's not critical as long as you're not wildly away from straight on.

    Import the photo into whatever software you might be using.

    Draw a wire frame rectangle around the image of the framing square. Failing this due to being excessively out of square with the image just create a 4 sided wire frame bounding the square making it as symmetrical as possible.While the former is vastly preferably, the latter will suffice in a pinch.

    Map, power clip, or whatever they call it in your village, the image into the wire frame created above.

    Do whatever s necessary to make the wire frame a 16x24 rectangle.

    Unmap the image.

    Now you have a full size straight on square image of your subject.
  10. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

    Feb 14, 2016
    I tend to forget that doing vinyl wrapping object/signs ect you dont need to be millimeter accurate (close to 3/64 inch accurate) you can have 10-20mm bleed.

    I work with way to much glass :oops:
  11. dale911

    dale911 President

    Jan 31, 2012
    Indianapolis, IN
    Exactly. That's why I love the Stanley smart measure. I needed to measure this sign a couple weeks ago and it's 25 minutes from the shop. Didn't want to take the bucket since I was only swapping an old panel for the jacks donuts panel but the panel is too high off the ground to use a step ladder. Snapped a couple pics using the device and I was good to go. Taking into account the space needed beind the retainers and placing my points as such, I had an accurate measurement that installed in 15 minutes. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Big Rice Field

    Big Rice Field Electrical/Architectural Sign Designer

    I have been using gnomons for years. A "T" shaped device that has white and red inch blocks of vinyl. Works like a charm.
  13. solock

    solock Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Easton PA
    Stanley Smart Measure Pro IS an ikegps Spike. The software is the same, the hardware is the same and except for name the app is the same, and the web experience is the same.

    The difference is that the Spike has included the web/cloud in the price, at around 425-500 depending on pricing at shows.

    Stanley sells for 80-100, and lowes was selling them for $40 for a while, but the cloud costs $200/year. (was $120, must have went up)

    The stanley advantage is that you can use the cloud across several SMP's so that is a far cheaper way as 3 SMP's and 4 years of cloud is cheaper than 2 spikes.

    They arent perfect, and you have to understand the way it measures, but my two salesmen and I have one and we can bring back pretty reliable specs when they plan the target of the laser dot properly, and I can measure things that I didnt plan on after the fact.

    As in the panel sign above, you have to know the loss and the trim coverage, but it beats a truck or ladder roll to get a quick measurement.
  14. All-SignZ

    All-SignZ Active Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Upstate NY
    I do a similar method to many above, but instead of taping squares, or magnets, I have 8"x5" post it notes. They are florescent pink and orange so they contrast very well with anything, and take 1 second to put on whatever I'm measuring, car, window, wall, etc. Then with the picture in Illustrator, zoom in on sticky note, measure the portion where the adhesive is (always nice and flat there even if windy) I then know that the sticky note is 5" wide, so in my calculator I enter .5/measured distance. Then I scale the photo to the percentage given. I use .5 instead of 5 to get me into 1/10th scale. Very effective and quick.
  15. Big Rice Field

    Big Rice Field Electrical/Architectural Sign Designer

    That has an advangtage over using a gnomon. The gnomon you have to remember to retrieve it before you leave. Sticky notes you can leave behind as they will eventually fall offf of the building or sign and will blow away as biodegradable detrius.
  16. I use a Bosch GLM 50C laser measuring device that can fairly accurately calculate indirect measurement (you will need a stable reference point for this, I use a tripod. the device can be set up to read from the tripod contact reference point). The device has bluetooth technology to transmit data to a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Works great when I can't reach what I need to measure from the ground (billboards, wall sign, pylon signs, etc.).

    I also will take the best photo I can (max telephoto and as tangent to the surface as possible), measure a known vertical and horizontal (the sign could be 50' up, but you can measure something you can reach that is in the picture; I carry around a bright yellow yardstick that I can stick in the picture). I will take the photo, and using the perspective crop tool in Photoshop re-map the image so that it is now "square" to the image plane. If I need to, I can adjust the vertical and horizontal dimensions until my reference measurements are accurate. Very fast and simple to do. Once my reference is accurate, everything else will be as accurate. I will place the perspective adjusted image in Illustrator, then create my art to scale (I use the Hot Door CADtools plug-in).

    A couple of points:

    1. Nothing beats a direct measurement.
    2. This is really close enough for estimating. If you get the job, you can decide whether or not you want to send out a lift truck for exact measurements. Many time you don't have to.
    3. Use a tripod with the laser measurement device if you are making indirect measurements. The measurements need to be from the exact same point - hand-held doesn't cut it.
    4. When you take the shot, use the optical zoom on your camera to flatten the image as much as possible. Digital zoom doesn't do it (digital zoom is essentially cropping and does not the change the angle of view). DO NOT use a wide angle. This was the toughest thing to teach my crew. It is much easier to use a wide angle lens to fit everything in, but the wider the viewing angle, the more lens distortion. Telephoto in, then back up as needed. I keep an old digital camera with an optical zoom lens in my survey kit.
    5. Hot Door CADtools is an essential part of my workflow.
    6. The bigger your measurements, the more accurate you will be.

    I was tempted by the Spike, but the tools I already had do just as good better job, and my cheap telephoto optical zoom camera is much better for this than the camera on an iPad or iPhone.

    I use a similar workflow for wraps. Take zoomed in photos of all sides (walk back as far as needed to get the whole vehicle in the frame). Measure the wheelbase. Make a couple of reference measurements on the front and back. Maybe take a couple of side vertical measurements. Use PS perspective tool if needed, and scale in Illustrator using CADtools.
  17. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Very Active Member

    Apple PhotoMeasures
    Android PhotoMeasures

    My favorite survey tool. The app makes surveying easier, I find I am less likely to miss a measurement. and if you take your photos straight on and measure something long, like a whole bank of windows, you can scale the image and measure whatever you missed and be within tolerance.

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