Inspector's Gadget

Tue Aug 01 2017

tags: project

Inspector's Gadget

August 2017

Inspector's Gadget is a bespoke desktop application written in ElectronJS that was custom-built for a civil engineering consulting firm. It streamlines the process of writing building inspection reports. Real-world usage reports show that it decreases the time taken to write a report by up to 85%.

A building inspection report involves three things:

  • Photos taken of the building
  • Floor plan of the building
  • PDF report of all building defects and recommended actions taken (if any)

A building inspection report is done as follows: An engineer walks around the building and takes photos of all structural features and defects (if any). The engineer will then "tag" the floor plan---put labels on the floor plan to show where each photo was taken. Finally, the engineer will produce a PDF report which includes all the photos taken, a description of each photo, and a classification of the defect type.

Before I created this application for the firm, creating a report was a very time-consuming process. First, every photo taken was renamed in File Explorer. Then, the floor plan was tagged in Microsoft Word by manually creating Text Boxes and moving them to the desired spot. Finally, to generate the report, the engineers would paste the images one by one into the Word document. God forbid the engineer missed out one photo in the middle, as to insert the new photo all subsequent photos had to be cut-and-pasted one box down. (You can see an example in the image: the image A2-30 has been left out. That means all the images and text from A2-31 onwards have to be cut and pasted one box down to make space for the new image.)

This application streamlines every part of the process, from uploading images to quick-tagging floor plans to the final report generation. Just click an area of the floor plan to tag it. The report is generated automatically, and if you missed out a photo, that's fine---the report will reflow seamlessly.

Inspector Gadget's UI to create a report