7 Tips for Optimizing Video Collection

11 February 2015 by Coleman McCormick

Fulcrum’s SpatialVideo collection capability can be a valuable addition to data collection workflows, including mapping of rights-of-way, assets, pipelines, electric lines, environmental monitoring, and more.

While video is a useful addition to your organization’s data collection process, here are some tips and tricks you can follow to get even more out of your video data.

SpatialVideo tips

Use the Appropriate Resolution

You can control the resolution of video in Fulcrum, from full 1080p HD all the way down to 480p and below. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your collected video data, you may not need the quality to be full 1080p. Video file sizes increase dramatically with higher resolutions, so test it out and find the optimal setting for your needs. To give a sense for how much bigger video gets, here’s a comparison of file sizes for 1 minute of video:

  • 720p - 54 MB
  • 1080p - 120 MB

So yeah, those files can get big.

Change the Frame Rate

Optimizing the video frame rate settings on your mobile device can help to reduce the video file sizes recorded within the app. Some cases (like when in motion in a vehicle) don’t require full motion, you just need a few snaps per second. This can result in some great-looking video useful for identifying features in the video, but keep your resulting data at a manageable size. This video show’s an example of what your results will look like at 3 fps:

Use a Mount

Video recording from vehicles is one of the best uses for SpatialVideo’s mapping component, but also one that you’ll want a proper setup for. Using a windshield mount will be safer, and also give you consistent, steady video while recording. Check out our previous post about the Koomus K2 mount for an excellent option. (I have one that I use all the time, a fantastic product!)

Control the Location & Audio Settings

Perhaps your video doesn’t require a location track to be collected, for cases where you’re indoors or the track data is unnecessary. From within your video field settings, you can control whether or not data collected with a specific app records a track log. Cases like indoor facilities inspections, property walkthroughs, and other similar uses don’t always require a “spatial” component, so Fulcrum allows you to control that setting. You can also control whether or not your video will record the audio track.

Adjust the Sync Settings

As mentioned previously, video data can be large, but you may still want to sync other data you’ve collected throughout the day periodically. The sync setting controls allow you to tell Fulcrum to only upload video data (as well as photos) when on Wi-Fi. This will help save both time and potential bandwidth cost.

Plan Your Route

You’ll get the best results if you plan ahead for where you’re collecting. For example, if you’re in a vehicle attempting to capture data on signs and street furniture in the right of way, low traffic periods will make for more consistent, quality video.

Use an External GPS

While the on-board location sensors for iOS and Android devices are good, using external Bluetooth GPS devices can give your location accuracy a big boost. Read some of our previous guides on external GPS devices like the Dual XGPS to improve location accuracy and precision.

Check out our refreshed and updated help center documentation to learn more about what else you can do with video and media in Fulcrum. And subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the latest how-to videos and examples as we publish them!

About the author

Coleman is a geographer and our Executive VP, working every day with our customers to bring better data management capability to their operations.

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