PHOTO Courtesy of TurboCAD
TurboSite's Geolocation feature allows users to tag photos and video to site plans and then share the info as a PDF.

TurboSite, an iOS app that leverages a smart device into a field reporting tool, has rolled out a new plug-in that turbocharges the app for Autodesk Revit users.

The plug-in for TurboSite uses a device's built-in GPS and gyroscope to collect a user's geographic location and orientation within a structure and tie it to the multimedia collected on an iPad or iPhone.

"TurboSite was cost-effective and was a complete package of easy-to-use field-inspection software," says Armando Villanueva, BIM-CAD manager for the San Francisco Dept. of Public Works.

The department tested the app against Intergraph and AutoCAD WS (now AutoCAD 360) with the goal of allowing staff to remotely view and collect project field data on handheld devices, add multi-media and make annotations on 2D or 3D site plans. TurboSite, by TurboCAD, Novato, Calif., performed well in the tests, and Villanueva says it can export a range of complex or simple reports.

If the GPS signal is blocked or inaccurate, a feature called GeoNudge lets users manually pinpoint their location.

"We used to carry rolls of drawings around in a case and take hundreds of pictures on a memory card, then we would compile all that into a report," says Doug Cochran, chief technology officer of TurboSite. He worked as an architect for 20 years and says site visits would take hours and up to three workers to complete. They carried a camera, compass and laptop with extra batteries to withstand the heavy computing done in the field.

"With TurboSite and an iPad, one guy can do it all and send a PDF of a marked-up 2D or 3D site plan with embedded video before leaving the site," says Cochran.

The app, which sells for $500, exports the info in HTML and DWG format and can be used with TurboViewer, TurboSite's free read-only app. The full-feature app includes markup tools with an interface similar to Autodesk's SketchBook. For example, an auto-shaping tool corrects poorly drawn angles and lines.

Cochran says that, in November, he will release an optional subscription pricing structure, starting at $9 a month for a muted version and $49 for the full version of the app. TurboSite's Revit plug-in is now available in the Autodesk Exchange online app store.