I talk to a lot of GC’s and Architects that use Sharepoint(tm) to store their photos. When I ask them why, their answers usually include something about security (a questionable claim in my mind; Are your needles secure, just because you know which haystack they’re in?) and company policy. Then the grumbling begins.
Here’s a breakdown of Sharepoint’s shortcoming’s as a photo management solution:
#10 Too much typing & clicking required – To file photos in way that provides any meaningful information later on (you know, when your really need them), Sharepoint requires you to spend time creating unique folders or typing LOTS of unique filenames. (e.g. ProgressLevel4DeckPrepour11032011.jpg, oh my)
#9 One-dimensional searching - If I need to verify the window flashing installation on ten different levels, it would be nice if I didn’t need to scroll through hundreds (thousands? millions?) of photos of rebar and framing on each and every one of those same ten levels.
#8 Picture Library doesn’t support sorting – Wouldn’t it be nice to have Excel-style sorting capabilities, while being able to simultaneously view the photos too?
#7 Can’t define a range of search values – How much quicker would it be if you could define a range of search values? E.g. Verifying the curtain wall anchors on the northeast corner of the top four floors.
#6 No comment – In the age of social media, is it too much to expect to be able to add comments to construction photos?
#5 No sharing – Isn’t a tad bit ironic that there’s no built-in photo sharing in a solution that has “Share” in it’s name?
#4 Upside down? – Does your neck hurt from viewing upside down photos with no way to fix them without opening them in another application and then re-saving them?
#3 No rules - Usually, a 7-person team will adopt 7 different photo naming and filing conventions.
#2 Patient searching required – “No Files Found” , is a painful phrase. How many times have you gotten this result repeatedly after struggling to come up with the right search criteria? An interactive search panel that allows for “tweaking” searches would be a real time saver.
#1 Starting from scratch – A new project means a blank slate and recreating your file names, folders and organization all – over – again.
Is there a better way? Most definitely the answer is yes.
Tags: Architects, box.net, commercial construction, construction, construction consultants, construction documentation, construction industry, construction photo documentation, construction photography, construction photos, construction productivity, construction quality control, dropbox, flikr, photo documentation, picasa, sharepoint