Equipment World

December 2017

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December 2017 | 46 Paving America, which uses drones to create pavement assessments and budgets for commer- cial, industrial and retail clients. Clients include national retailers such as Walmart, Lowe's and Home Depot, as well as real-estate investment trusts and property man- agement companies. Rabine partners with Betterview, a San Francis- co-based company with software that captures and analyzes detailed aerial footage obtained by more than 4,400 indepen- dent contractor pilots. Once the drone captures hundreds or thousands of images, Betterview and other companies like it can stitch them into an orthomosaic map with high-resolution imagery showing the layout of a parking lot. Zooming in is possible to see more de- tail, as well as measuring distances and dimensions for quotes. "The biggest thing for us is just how much more efficiently we're able to get information in front of our pavement and stormwater engineers," Rabine says. "Geography is not an issue. It could be Canada, Mexico, New York or California. I can get the same information on those sites in a few days; whereas before, it may have taken weeks to gather less infor- mation." Previously, it could cost $2,000 to $4,000 to get somebody out to a property, and that would be based on whether he could get the right experts on site taking photos, measuring the parking lot. "It was based on how many engineers you had and how many sites the client had," Rabine says. His firm recently finished pav- ing work for 40 or so distribution centers for a big-box retail chain. Using drones, he provided pave- ment assessments, "and that only took us a few weeks on about 40 of their sites, where in the past, it could take close to a year to get all that information just because of all the travel involved, the cost, getting all the information back to the office." The clients with whom he works could be a team of three or four people based in Atlanta or San Diego, for example, and manage thousands of properties nation- wide. Often, those clients have never seen the properties they manage, Rabine says. road technology | continued Paving contractor Ryan Anderson uses drone photos and an app downloaded to his tablet to quickly and precisely calculate the square footage of projects. Shown is mapping for his paving project for a school in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Anderson pushes points to put pins around the area to be measured and then the app provides the calculation – 73,937 square feet. Rabine

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