Tracking Attachments on Pipe Endpoint Inspections

09-20-2022 09:40 AM
New Contributor II

Looking for some ideas from the community on this one.  We have an inspection effort in the field right now that's looking at the endpoints of some 25,000 Stormwater Pipes, and is collecting photos of those endpoints.  The data/text side of the effort threw us a few curveballs, but we figured out a system of 8 fields divided into two sets that mostly works.

Upstream Inspector, Upstream Date, Upstream Condition, Upstream Notes

And the corresponding matches for the Downstream endpoints.


Only, the headache of the photos didn't occur to us until we started to write the attachment export code to pull our first progress report.  Since inspectors are registering these inspections on the same pipe asset, all of the photos are being dumped into a jumbled pile and we have no way of separating upstream from downstream (other than manual human labor & guesswork), let alone knowing which end each set of photos goes to.


Brute force, I suppose we could've/should've done this all according to a point layer of endpoints, but then we run into problems of how best to easily symbolize the pipes so inspectors can tell from the field what still needs to be done.


Has anyone else ever done anything similar?  How did you run your inspection effort and how did you collate/track the data and photos on the back end?


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2 Replies
New Contributor II

Replying back to this for the sake of discussion and in case anyone else comes looking for the same problem.

It occurred to us that modern smartphones/tablets capture EXIF metadata that generally includes location data.  We're currently testing a solution that compares this location data against pipe endpoints to basically filter down to a "best guess" as to which end it likely belongs to.

It's still not perfect, given the relative accuracies involved, but that might be life.

I'm still interested to hear what other ideas the community might have, as well, though.

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One option could be to use Field Maps - S123 integration.  S123 gives you the ability to specify filenames of photos whereas Field Maps doesn't (as far as I know, at least).  You could use Field Maps to navigate to the pipe and launch the form in update mode so that form submission performs an update rather than creating a new record (possibly displaying your pipe ID in the form as read-only text as well, if helpful).  You could use two different photo questions for upstream and downstream photos, with file prefixes along the lines of "us_" and "ds_".

Worth mentioning that until sometime last year, maybe even early this year, can't remember exactly, updating an existing record in the S123 mobile app would not allow you to add photos, but that's no longer a limitation.

You could also include a short integer field like "inspection_complete" with a true (1) / false (0) coded value domain on it, and symbolise your pipes in Field Maps using this field.  Have the field's default value set to 0, but in S123 include a hidden question that flips that value to 1.

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