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OrthoGraph 2.0 Arrives—Becomes Platform for BIM Model Management

OrthoGraph 2.0 goes beyond mobile app for building survey and BIM model creation—new solution is a full web platform for BIM model management with an integrated API for third-party extensions.

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Hungary’s OrthoGraph 2.0 has arrived this April with dramatic new functionalities, including a new API, web viewer, mobile app enhancements and much more. Here’s the break down on everything exciting about OrthoGraph 2.0.

OrthoGraph 2.0—A New Platform for Building Survey and BIM Model Management

As we detailed in our 2017 review article last year, OrthoGraph is a mature mobile app that “logically and deftly handles complexity in CAD drawings using multi-touch and your finger or stylus like the Apple Pencil”…to input data from existing buildings in the field utilizing an LDM (laser distance meter), preferably.

MORE: Product Review: OrthoGraph I—Building Survey System for AEC Pros

But now OrthoGraph 2 has grown to a full-featured platform for 2/3D floor plan surveys and BIM model management on both Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. Importantly, a new web platform is introduced that works in tandem with the mobile apps.

01 – You can now add corners into walls easily in OrthoGraph 2.

OrthoGraph 2 introduces a new API (application programming interface) that makes it now possible to integrate enterprise functionalities directly into the OrthoGraph 2 platform. The enterprise feature enables up-to-date building systems data via systems like CAFM, CMMS and any kind of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, putting graphical data side-by-side with facilities data.

Computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) are increasingly working through the cloud and even companies like IBM are helping companies make the transition. OrthoGraph 2 serves the CAFM and CMMS process both onsite and in the office via its new web 3D model viewer.

Mobile App Update

As we mentioned in our detailed product review, measuring existing or new buildings using OrthoGraph offers a dramatic speed up in the overall process. In version 2.0, the mobile app has made the process easier by addressing common problems the first-time user—even the experienced user—may encounter. For example, sometimes people make small mistakes during measuring with tape measures or even an LDM device, now OrthoGraph 2 prioritizes the proper parts of shapes at attaching difficult rooms, setting wall thicknesses automatically where necessary, and prioritizing openings when they are used to attach rooms together.

Version 2 introduces “measurement tolerances” as a feature to smooth the process along where small mistakes take place. OrthoGraph 2.0 recognizes the expected shape of rooms and updates the distances to fit the required drawing while displaying the small changes to measured data as “measurement tolerances” drawn on the plan.

02 – OrthoGraph 2 comes loaded with a vastly larger 2D and 3D library, including HVAC, Fire and Safety and Electrical symbols.

Essentially, OrthoGraph 2 has a new kind of built-in intelligence system that is unrivaled in the market for building survey software. The company says near future version updates of OrthoGraph will expand on these functionalities.

The new version of OrthoGraph also supports curved walls. You can draw, measure, and export these walls in all formats with their accompanying data. The updated app also reduces the drain on the battery on your mobile device through code optimization. There is also a revamped PDF export and optimization of the existing export formats. (see review).

Existing users have also driven the update in expanding the 3D objects in the library. A new extensive library of 2D symbols has been added, with particular support to cover HVAC, Fire and Safety, Alarm and Security, and Electrical disciplinary domains.

Web Platform

OrthoGraph’s platform was created not simply to create “as-built” BIM models, but also to serve as a display system of graphical and alphanumeric data related to the elements of a building, in the office and on-site. If an external software system has a mobile app or a cloud-based web app, then such a system can be connected to every OrthoGraph element with relevant connection data. The same applies to the 3D web viewer of the OrthoGraph 2.0 platform.

Real Estate Data Sheet

Every OrthoGraph project that is uploaded to OrthoGraph Cloud automatically gets a Real Estate Data Sheet. This document lists out every single important aspect of the surveyed property, including all calculated data (surface, volume, etc) and photos made on site through OrthoGraph.

03 – This is a sample view of the Real Estate Data Sheet in OrthoGraph 2.0 Cloud.

All models are now viewable in a modern web browser, with no need for plugins or add-ons. These models represent a constant synchronized state of a surveyed property.

The web-based 3D OrthoGraph model viewer lets users, including clients and other stakeholder partners, to virtually walk around the surveyed BIM model without using a mobile device. Guest viewers simply follow an emailed link. OrthoGraph 2 can send highlighted elements in a BIM model via link and a guest can view it in the web browser seeing the element with all its associated data and photos if the case may be. The linking also works in the mobile OrthoGraph app itself.

Developers and the API

With OrthoGraph’s new platform and API, third-party developers can hook into their system, they simply need to register and signup with OrthoGraph as a development partner. OrthoGraph’s API can be used by an external system to look up specific elements either in the 3D web view or directly in the mobile app, making OrthoGraph 2 an integrated experience with an external system’s functionality.

To learn more visit here or see the video below.

Architosh Analysis

OrthoGraph 2.0 looks like a very strong update to the product we reviewed thoroughly last year. The new corners insertion feature and intelligent recognition of what walls should be actually lining up are all very good additions that address the inevitable errors that folks make in the field when measuring, particularly if they are not using a laster distance meter. 

The most exciting aspect of this new update has to be the API. This will make it newly possible for other AEC industry players to plugin their apps to work with OrthoGraph data. In some cases we could see those apps lacking the graphical strength that OrthoGraph possess and letting OrthoGraph function as a secondary or primary 3D view of facilities data in particular. The synchronization of the web view and the mobile view is also compelling, enabling architecture teams in the field to push out their work live to the offices in real time. This could be invaluable during design competitions where time is of the essence. But it will just be valuable for a wide array of situations.

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