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Rambling about future with an emphasis on tablets

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How are you creating drawings in the field for site analysis, conceptual design, construction administration, or As-builts?

Are there any apps that do this well and play nice with VW?

What about creating conceptual models on site to visualize or test ideas?

Is there any hope of VW developing a tablet solution that addresses the workflow of Landscape Architects?


I would love to have a tablet app that could play well with my team’s CAD or BIM backgrounds.

*Tap on an existing tree to add/change data that could link back to the source model.

*Capture GPS data for points or tracks and add it to the model, seamlessly.

*Photomodel, onsite... and feed that back to the main site model.



I drank the IPad Koolaid awhile back and life and work have been greatly enhanced.  Sketching, modeling, photoshop via Afinity, and flying drones are just scratching the surface.  Taking the plant database on the go has been nice, wish it could be synced automatically.  There is so much potential for improving our workflows by creating a useful extension of VW on a tablet that embraces the entire process of design.


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  • 1 year later...

So, I'm heading out to a project site to tomorrow to verify a few things and collect information that needs to be incorporated into my VWX model.

I still use an ipad for this purpose, but still don't have a clean and efficient way to recorded the information so it comes directly into VWX.


I'm loading my iPad up with PDFs generated in VWX.  I'll probably mark them up in Bluebeam on the ipad.  I'll then come back to the studio and have to reenter that information into VWX.  Isn't there a better way?  Shouldn't there be a better way?  If it wasn't so hot and sunny here, I would be tempted to take my laptop and edit in the field just to alleviate the frustration of doing the same work twice.

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@bc I think importing the PDF makes sense for notes and sketches done in the field.  I'm hoping for something with more precision for items measured and drafted in the field.  A friend suggested investigating Autocad, or any CAD really, designed for the iPad.  Maybe I'll look into that at some point.


Interestingly enough, I had to revert back to paper sketching yesterday due to the heat.  My iPad kept overheating.  Such is life in the desert and a big consideration when trying to use these tools.

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The linework is there in the pdf.  If you draw a line.  Export to PDF. Import to VW.  Ungroup the PDF. Delete any bitmap over the top and your line will be there. as accurately as originally drawn.  Have you tried this?  Maybe export to PDF on you iPad won't do this but I have imported many with their vector data intact.

Edited by bc
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I Look at those new iPadPro with the LIDAR sensor and think why can't my Building model overlay with the LIDAR sensor and tell me where there are differences.


Yes hoping all the work that has gone into VGM and getting to work on metal might see a day that a nice big slate of glass overtakes a folder of drawings for site visits.

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