Geedra: Photo Data Management for the A/E/C Industry

Geedra is a secure, cloud-based, photo-driven database for collecting, sorting, managing and sharing pictures taken in the field. It is incredibly user-friendly and has been designed from the ground up for documenting construction conditions. Using any modern web browser, you can tag, sort and filter photos by location, trade, CSI division, etc.

As a construction defect investigator, I take a lot of pictures. So do my colleagues and peers. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for an individual inspector to produce 20,000 images in a single year. The question then becomes, what do you do with all those photos?

Some firms have developed their own proprietary photo-driven databases for managing photographic evidence for construction projects. The cost for building your own database application is incredibly expensive.

Geedra Construction Photo Management Software

I’ve had the good fortune of speaking to Rob Mathewson, the founder of Geedra, on several occasions. Besides being a really genuine and smart guy, Mathewson is extremely committed to removing the obstacles for managing construction photo documentation.

Geedra is a construction photo management system based on Amazon’s cloud platform. Photos can be tagged by geographic location (or with GPS), room/floor location, trade, subcontractor, CSI division – or you can add your own comments and descriptions. Photos are displayed in a grid-based system and can be sorted/filtered based on any of the aforementioned tags or comments. Geedra allows users to email individual or multiple photos to other parties, or you can prepare PDF-based reports with additional comments. What are the system requirements? Nothing more than a standard web browser.

The company is marketing their product for both active construction-phase activities and post-construction documentation. By enabling building scientists and forensic investigators to quickly upload, tag, sort, and comment on large volumes of photos in a short time, Geedra is an ideal solution for the construction defect industry.

Preventing (or at least limiting) Construction Claims

Recently, Geedra’s blog featured a guest post from Virginia construction lawyer Christopher Hill (still no relation). In it, Hill explains from a lawyer’s perspective, just how valuable photos are in a construction dispute. As he writes:

Because in my construction law practice, having great photos can win a case or even cut the case off at the pass. A photo cannot lie (I know, Photo Shop exists but I’ll deal with that later). A photo has a perfect memory (unlike most of us). A photo shows exactly how a site looked at a certain point in time. All of these characteristics of a good photo are great.

Almost more importantly, though; a good photo can be very persuasive. Judges and juries are people. No matter how great a picture you, as an advocate or witness, can paint, you can’t do the real thing justice. A photo that shows the problem (or lack of one) that is the key to the case is the best evidence and most viscerally relevant depiction of the information and the state of things when the construction was still going on.

Using Construction Photos to Improve Quality

In my most recent article for Retail Design & Construction Today, I discussed the importance of photos during active construction:

By requiring that contractors and subcontractors photograph before they start, and after they finish, owners can maintain a dynamic record of the job’s progress. This requirement will also dramatically impact claims resolution processes by offering demonstrable evidence of the work completed, even after much of it is concealed by finish materials.

While Geedra can’t eliminate defects, the service certainly makes it much easier to prevent them or detect them through verification. With verification, comes trust. Without trust, improving quality in the built environment remains elusive at best.

My personal experience beta-testing Geedra has been very positive. I found the application easy to use, extremely powerful, and very responsive. To get a feel for how Geedra works, sign up for a free account. The video below is a walk-through of the key features and functions:

Video Link