Did You Know: Parcel Count Information in CAMAvision (Fall 2015 Newsletter)

By: Mike Weeks

Did you know that you can view parcel count information with 2 clicks of the mouse?

You may have never noticed the handy Utility located under the Tools button within CAMAvision®. This tool gives you a snap shot of your data, Parcel Counts Info and Statistics of many areas of the system.

Parcel Counts Info in CAMAvisionYou will see the number of parcels for many different parts of CAMAvision®. This can be used as an audit tool to find discrepancies in your data or to verify the info being stored in your system. For example, (for Iowa Clients) if you know you have 600 parcels with exemptions in your Tax Administration System, you could use this tool to verify you have exemptions on 600 parcels in CAMAvision® as well. If your IT staff is asking about the size of your CAMA database you can use this utility to explain that you have 49,406 photos in your system which may take up a sizable amount of server space. Overall, it’s just good information to have at your figure tips.

We Want Your Feedback! (Fall 2015 Newsletter)

By: Patrick Alexander

When I was growing up, my mother always told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” Several hours later she would inevitably ask, “You’re awfully quiet today, what’s wrong?” Now, I love my mom, but she provides a textbook example of contradiction. And while I would love to say this phenomenon is limited to her, I know it rests in all of us. Although it might exist in her just a tad bit more than most.

That fact aside, let me get to my point, and yes I actually have one for those of you wondering. In this day you often hear vendors provide lip service in stating your opinion matters and they take all of your suggestions seriously. Then they turn around and implement only what they have to, and none of your additional requests ever see the light of day. Well if they don’t care about your input, then why did they bother even asking for it?

"All of your requests, whether via email, suggested in person or over the phone, are written down and evaluated."
“All of your requests, whether via email, suggested in person or over the phone, are written down and evaluated.”

We take a different approach at Vanguard. All of your requests, whether via email, suggested in person or over the phone, are written down and evaluated. We love making our product more usable and closer to your ideal of an indispensable office tool. Now, that doesn’t mean all the submitted requests will make it into the program. There are many factors that need to be considered before it gets a green light. How do your suggestions affect other clients and/or states? Is there a process already in place for accomplishing the same task? Do we have the manpower available to implement and maintain this new or changed functionality? Also, is it even possible given the current framework of the program?

Even if your request ultimately doesn’t make it into the program, we are still excited you cared enough to make the suggestion and are likely to look for alternatives to reach your desired result. In the end, you will never be heard if you never speak, so shout at us to your heart’s content.

The Display Order in Sketch (Fall 2015 Newsletter)

By: Nick Klein

Today I am going to write about a feature of Sketch called the Display Order. This is the order sketch objects are stacked on top of each and determines the order in which they are drawn. By manipulating this stacking order, it is possible to produce some interesting effects.

For this example, I’ll demonstrate how to stack objects and apply a fill pattern to one –without obscuring the label text of either object. For clarity, my first image shows the labels outside the object. The second image shows the labels inside, and the final image shows how I want the finished drawing to appear. Because I want the labels to be inside shaded objects, yet still be readable, we’ll have to take into consideration the Display Order in which the objects are drawn.

"For this example, I’ll demonstrate how to stack objects and apply a fill pattern to one –without obscuring the label text of either object."
“For this example, I’ll demonstrate how to stack objects and apply a fill pattern to one –without obscuring the label text of either object.”

An easy way to think about the Display Order is when objects are drawn they get added to the end of the Display Order list. Hence, the first item drawn is at the top of the list, the second object is below the first, the third is below that and so forth. Objects higher in the list can be made to overlap and obscure objects lower in the list because by definition they are drawn before the lower objects.

In my example, the typical drawing procedure is to first draw the 1-story frame addition and then draw the smaller, open-porch addition. Therefore, the object higher on the list (i.e., the 1-story addition) could obscure the open-porch which is lower in the list.

If I enable a fill pattern on the 1-story addition without changing the display order I get a result that obscures the label of the open-porch. We can make this better by changing the display order these two objects.

First make sure the transparency of the label text is disabled for both objects. Change it (if necessary) via the Object Name Properties box.

Next open the Display Order box by pressing or from the Edit > “Display Order…” menu.

"After changing the order and pressing OK, the sketch will refresh."
“After changing the order and pressing OK, the sketch will refresh.”

With the Display Order dialog open, notice the open-porch is lower in the display order than the 1-story frame addition. The user can now manipulate the order by selecting an object and pressing the respective Move Up or Move Down buttons, or by using drag-n-drop with the mouse.

After changing the order and pressing OK, the sketch will refresh. As you can see, the Sketch makes it pretty easy to change the display order of objects. Some users who know about the Display Order may simply want to use the quick shortcut menus to move objects all the way to the top or to the bottom of the Display Order.

PhotoVision on a Tablet (Fall 2015 Newsletter)

By: Mike Weeks

When training on tablets and Remote, I’ve had several questions regarding taking photos with my tablet and having those photos import directly into CAMAvision®. This may be a little hard to describe in a Newsletter article, but I’ll give it a shot.

The first step is to make sure your settings on the MAIN SYSTEM are set as shown below.

"This should be done for each user who will be using a tablet as it is not a system wide setting. "
“This should be done for each user who will be using a tablet as it is not a system wide setting. “

Go to the PhotoVision section of your Preferences and then click the check box for the Monitor Camera Roll Folder. This should be done for each user who will be using a tablet as it is not a system-wide setting.

After checking your parcels out onto a tablet Load a parcel and OPEN PhotoVision.

Checking parcels onto a tablet in PhotoVision

The Next step is to use the camera app on your Windows 8 tablet. To do so, drag from the left with your finger or stylist to activate the Windows 8 menu tool bar.

Then tap on the start button.

Next find the camera app icon, it may be hard to find at first but should look something like this.

Tap on that icon. This will activate the tablet’s camera. Keep in mind that cameras on tablets usually don’t have the same quality as most of your digital cameras.

After activating the camera you may have to use the settings to switch from the forward “selfie” view to the camera on the back because NO ONE wants to see THIS in PhotoVision!

PhotoVision on Windows 8 Tablet in CAMAvision

After taking your photo, swipe from the left of tablet screen to the right bringing CAMAvision to the front. Your newly taken photo will have automatically dropped into PhotoVision.

If you Swipe less than half way across your screen you will get the “split screen” effect, showing both CAMAvision and the Camera. You’ll have to get used to your tablet. I know my tablet and my Windows 8 laptop have much different sensitivity when it comes to the split screen. Have fun and let us know if you have any questions. Also, feel free to bring your tablet to any conference or User Group Meeting to have us help you with these settings.

2016 Photo Contest (Fall 2015 Newsletter)

Find out how you can take part in our 2016 Photo Contest.

1. A photo, series of photos or video can be submitted
2. The Vanguard bumper stickers must be visible, readable
3. Content of the photo/video must be Facebook appropriate

Examples of photos that can be submitted for our 2016 Photo Contest
Examples of photos that can be submitted for our 2016 Photo Contest

When the Vanguard staff chooses a photo, you will have 30 days to get as many likes as you can.

Submit digital images to brad@camavision.com or mail on a CD to:

Vanguard Appraisals, Inc
1065 Sierra Ct NE, Suite D
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Put Attn: Contest 2016

Digital photographs only – no printed photographs will be accepted.