In a recent blog, I discussed using online media for a site online site inspection involving a Torrey pine tree root conflict with adjacent asphalt paving. That marked the first time I used an online media tool rather than being physically present at the site. My client and I used Facetime to conduct the real time inspection.
As the restrictions ease, I believe the use of online media such as Zoom, Hangouts, Facetime etc will increase. I have already presented this concept to a legal client in Northern California concerning an irrigation inspection. Do I really need to fly from San Diego to San Francisco, rent a car, drive to the site, observe irrigation defects, then reverse the process returning home or, can I watch the inspection over the web? The level of scrutiny required depends on the individual case.
Like so many other industries, the tree industry is rapidly adapting to the new Covid – 19 reality. Today, I attended an online Zoom seminar titled Sidewalks, Urban Plazas and Tree Roots. This seminar was presented through the ISA Southern Extension. I believe it was originally going to be part of a “normal” ISA Southern Association Annual meeting that was cancelled due to Covid.
The online presentation occurred through Zoom with over 1000 arborists throughout the U.S. and other countries attending. The topic concerned tree roots damaging sidewalks, presented by Dr. Thomas Smiley. Once a few technical glitches were adjusted, the presentation was almost identical to what I had experienced attending many seminars.
The slides presented alongside the audio streaming from Dr. Smiley was easy to view. I became immersed in the content and found myself taking pics of some of the slides. The topic provided test data results using different techniques designed to reduce root intrusion beneath sidewalks.
The presentation lasted an hour, same amount of time I’m accustomed to when attending a seminar. Although I already knew a great deal about the topic, I still came away with new information for use in my practice, including a great specification detail incorporating multiple root growth inhibitor practices that may reduce sidewalk damage due to roots.
In the past month, I’ve been able to continue my consulting practice from my home office. I’ll continue to utilize more online media tools, whether for learning, conducting site inspection work, and client meetings. I believe these new opportunities are one of the (few) beneficial results from the Covid-19 virus.
I recently provided a client with a proposal to develop landscape maintenance specifications for commercial properties located in several different climatic regions. The proposal did not include any site visits. All data collection would occur online through various means. Using online data collection versus conducting multiple site visits saved the client thousands of dollars.
I’m looking forward to these new opportunities utilizing online media sources as potential replacement for physical presence. Hopefully it will prove an efficient, effective, cost saving technique without sacrificing product accuracy.