The backbone of the Connected Construction Site (Dimensions 2012)

Updated Nov 21, 2012

Screen Shot 2012 11 06 At 4 15 30 Pm

As discussed in the conference’s opening keynote Monday, a huge topic of discussion at Trimble Dimensions 2012 is the “Connected Construction Site.” The aptly named is what Trimble calls “the backbone of the connected construciton site,” acting not only as the online portal to all of the data being generated within the jobsite that is sent to the cloud, but also a control panel and a full-featured collaboration tool.

Linda Chase, Trimble’s Segment Managaer for the Connected Community, led a session at the conference serving as a tour through the website. She began by showing just how quick and easy it is to make new “pages” on My Connected Site for each of your jobsites. A few clicks and you’re ready to start pouring in data for particular site.

The website pulls in aerial satellite images, from Google for instance, giving you a great birds-eye view of each jobsite. And that view comes in handy as it is the backdrop for a great number of customizable layers and data points that can be plotted by things going on in realtime.

However, to get all this data from the jobsite to the cloud, a lot of work is done to ensure the site has a reliable internet connection. In the site set up for Dimensions, City of Las Vegas network cables were run to the model jobsite and that signal is also broadcast via a Miraki Wi-Fi network. In addition to the Wi-Fi network, webcams were installed allowing for a 24/7 view of what’s going on on the site.

Using that Wi-Fi network, smartphones and tablets like Trimble’s TSC3 and other “data collectors” can begin syncing data, including images, they record wirelessly to the cloud and the office. And because GPS location is taken, all of this data is plotted on My Connected Site’s overhead map view.

Using Trimble’s Vision Link service, you can also track individual machines as they operate on the site. In addition to their location, you’ll get a quick look at each machine’s up and downtime as well as fuel use.

But My Connected Site is more useful than just giving you the ability to be in two places at once. It also lets you share data between your team members with great efficiency.

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Forums can be added to each jobsite page on the My Connected Site, allowing team members to discuss problems or ask for advice on how to move forward. “Filespaces” can be added to each jobsite page as well, and the Connected Community Explorer offers a Dropbox-like file storage and sharing interface that allows team members to post all job-related documents in a central location accessible by everyone.

Chase said contractors often tell her a connected jobsite saves them a lot of time going back and forth between the office and the jobsite. Trimble offers 60-day free trials of MyConnectedSite. More information can be found by clicking here.