Top 5 reasons to buy a Microsoft Surface Book (Spring 2016 Newsletter)

Described as the “ultimate laptop”, Microsoft released the new Surface Book in October and Vanguard’s own Martin Barrett (Software Developer II) was able to test out CAMAvision recently.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider the Surface Book.

5. Great keyboard and trackpad

– Integrated and detachable keyboard

CAMAvision on the Microsoft Surface Book

4. Best camera yet on a Surface

– Perfect for PhotoVision, 8 Megapixel (back)/5 Megapixel (front)

CAMAvision on Microsoft Surface Book

3. Use either as a laptop or tablet

– 3000 x 2000 resolution

CAMAvision on Microsoft Surface Book

2. Excellent pen

– Great to use with Sketch Annotations

CAMAvision on Microsoft Surface Book

1. CAMAvision runs great!

– 6th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processor

CAMAvision on Microsoft Surface Book

The Microsoft Surface Book starts at $1,499.

Additional specs:

* Windows 10 Pro
* 13.5” PixelSense™ display
* 3.34 pounds (including keyboard)
* Two full-size USB 3.0 ports
* Full-size SD card reader
* Up to 12 hours of video playback
* Wi-Fi wireless networking, Bluetooth 4.0

Did You Know: CAMAvision (Spring 2016 Newsletter)

By: Terri Scheuermann

Did you know CAMAvision now has a Document Management and Storage capability? With the ProVersion and PhotoVision modules this ability is at your fingertips. DMS extends the file types that can be stored within a parcel essentially turning it into a document and file storage repository for all your parcel data.

Almost any file type can be added into DMS including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDF documents or any other document type that’s not an image. Always be mindful that space is limited and an increase in database size into the tens of GB range will result in backups taking longer to execute.

Another consideration is that the DMS is simply a storage facility of attached docs and it cannot open or edit the documents. Whatever type of file attached, the appropriate program to view or edit that document must also be installed. So if a Word document is stored/linked then Word must be installed and an Excel spreadsheet is stored/linked the Excel must be installed. There is an ability to add a document and set it to private if need be.

Documents/links may be viewed from the parcel PhotoVision tab and also from the DMS tab on the parcel search screen.

For more information and/or a demo on this recently added feature please contact your friendly Vanguard field representative.

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.

5 frequently asked questions about CAMAvision

CAMAvision has the power and features to help you accomplish your job whether your jurisdiction has 500 or 500,000 parcels to manage. Yet, keeping track of all these features can be hard at times.

Below are some frequently asked questions we field the most about CAMAvision.

1. Does a “scan to” option exist allowing you to store scanned documents?

That ability already exists with the Document Management and Storage ability included with the Pro Version report writer module and available via PhotoVision.

2. The PDF screen displays in numerical order. Can I order them alphabetical?

Yes. You can set this as a USER preference OR when on the parcel search screen, select PDF and then click on the PDF Name header and they will sort alphabetically.

3. What is the “count” field for on the building extra screen?

Enter the # of items identical to the extra entered.

4. When I run a query, I want the school/tax district name to display and not the code.

Add the Pricing Tax_District0 Table. Link the Tax District_code 0 in the General Table to the Tax District0Code field in the Pricing Tax_District0 Table. Drop down the Tax0Description field into the query grid.

5. When doing a query on yard items, why is there no lookup of type?

Yard extras do not have occupancy and pricing codes like Res/Com/Ag buildings. A lookup can be used on the Description field from the Yard Extra table, however some yard types use hand-entered descriptions, which could have many different descriptions to choose from. If looking for specific yard items, the Table Name (e.g. “YSHED”) is often the best way to view everything priced as that type.

Stay tuned for more helpful CAMAvision tips!

New features in CAMAvision: blurring parts of an image

With increasing concern about privacy in the last few years, making a habit of reviewing new photos used in CAMAvision before adding them into the system is a good practice. Photos appear in reports, can get uploaded to a website or can be seen by anyone requesting a copy of the data.

With images serving a valuable purpose for appraising property, taking steps to protect sensitive information is a must in 2015.

A new feature introduced in CAMAvision 18 within the effects screen of PhotoVision™ now gives the user the ability to blur out specific sections of an image.

For this example, a photo of a garage is used with a car in front displaying a license plate. The goal here is to obscure the license plate. By loading an image into PhotoVision and clicking on the effects button, the user is given the option to select a portion of the image to edit.

Blurring images in CAMAvision

Once the area is selected, a menu can be produced by right clicking and selecting Blur Section. Once executed, the area selected will be transformed and will now feature a blurred effect. An added zoom in the example shows what the finalized image looks like.

The Blur Section is not the only feature available in the effects area of PhotoVision. Other features like sharpness, contrast and brightness can also enhance the presentation of a photo.

With any kind of image editing, you run the risk of crossing the line into doctoring a photo. A balance between what should be edited and what should be left alone should be under consideration at all times. Establishing rules about how much an image can be edited is another good practice.