Get the Inside View

Google Maps Inside

So you’re planning for a job whether it be CP, surveillance or just a site security survey.

You’re scrabbling around on t’interweb for photos and useful information of the venue, but you’re coming up short….ever tried going to Google Maps and picking up Pegman Google maps insideto see what he’s got to offer?

There’s been a few improvements added to Google Maps and they’ve been there a while now but for some reason people still aren’t aware they exist; namely photo-spheres and “Go Inside”

So here’s a brief video I’ve put together to show you how they work and how to access them.

 

Making Progress

Surveillance Driving

Something we all want to do, however I’m talking in the context of driving and in the surveillance driving scenario.  When I did my surveillance training last year with Pete Jenkins of ISS Training in my home town of Skipton I realised that I was at an advantage over everybody else on the course – I had local knowledge.  I also believed that as I had been driving since an early age (started at age 10 in Landrovers and tractors) that I was a competent driver and when on the course we needed to make ground I was able to do it with relative ease.

Then I had to ask the question – what if I’m somewhere with no local knowledge?  Are my surveillance driving skills good enough to make good progress off “home turf”.  Pete as always was able to advise on a way to get better; contact Mark Kendrick at Bespoke Driver Training.

Mark has extensive experience in close protection and counter-surveillance, this coupled with his years as a police driving instructor makes him ideally placed to offer the Advanced Progressive Driving Course for Surveillance operators.

Casino Royale

The course was thorough and great fun, which is always a bonus, particularly hairing round the hill loop at Millbrook proving ground – anybody remember the Aston Martin rolling in Casino Royale? That’s where it was filmed.  The main part of the course was taught on the lanes and roads of Gloucestershire and I mean taught on the roads; classroom time was minimal which allows you to make the most of what is after all a hands-on course.

The main learning points for me however were just how good ABS is.  Using the ABS track at Millbrook which consists of a cambered section of lanes that are constantly wet; I was amazed at the ability to be able to change lanes under full braking with ease and most importantly, under full control.  Being an “older” driver I was also unaware of the changes in how to approach give-ways and roundabouts; aside from the obvious need to check position, mirrors and speed;  I really struggled with the concept of not being in gear until I had full visibility of what was going on.  Back in the day it was a requirement to be in gear on the approach, as Mark rightly pointed out “how can you know what gear to be in when you don’t know the dangers or obstacles in front of you”.  A very valid point and one that has changed my whole driving style, though it took a lot of effort to overcome nearly 30 years of muscle memory.

RoSPA

Mark included the RoSPA ROADAR advanced driving qualification as part of the course at my request and I have to say I was amazed to achieve Silver standard in a few short days.  As I point out to my traffic police friends when they rib me about only getting Silver, I did it in a week you have weeks of practice to achieve Gold.

VIP Protection

Mark also teaches VIP protection and Chauffeur driving and I hope that when the time comes to renew my RoSPA qualification, I can combine it with one of these courses to enhance my driving skills.

 

Pet hates

Form Filling

If there’s one thing that really grinds my bones it’s when someone sends me a document to fill out without having made it fillable! it doesn’t make for an efficient business.

Form filling is an unfortunate necessity of everyday life – bank accounts, jobs, signing up to a website; but in the last case it is actually made easy.  If you think about it, why when probably 90% of the UK population has filled out an online form would you send out a crappy Word document which you’re basically asking the user to print, fill in; to then scan, save and forward as an attachment – not exactly a streamlined or efficient process!

Tools

There are so many tools out there, free tools I hasten to add, to make this process so much easier.  Microsoft Word has had the ability to create forms since Office 95 at least (The first time I bought Microsoft Office for myself), so why don’t people enable this feature?

Well, let’s ask another question – how many people in business have actually done a course in how to use Word, my bet is not too many.  I will confess I never did a course in Word, but I made sure I used every available resource to make sure it worked efficiently for me.

Nowadays there are so many options for creating fillable forms, some with the added benefit of actually making the captured data available for reuse outside of the document it was created in – what a novel idea!

So what are the options?

Word

Word-Forms2010

Might not be immediately apparent how to access the features depending on the flavour of Word you’re using, but as you can see in the above screenshot for 2010, ensure the Developer toolbar is visible and then click on the Legacy tools icon.  Nope..sorry, I’m not going to show you how to use it; there are thousands of tutorials, Youtube videos and the like to assist you in the process – get Googling!

Adobe

Once upon a time the form feature was only available in the Pro version of Acrobat.  Thankfully the giant has now realised that the populous at large would like an easy and less expensive life and so even Acrobat Reader DC has the ability to take a bog-standard pdf and allow you to make it fillable.  Believe me, you have no idea how great this functionality is.

I’ll give you a little help this time – How to use fill and sign.  For those with DC installed on their smartphone it also adds the capability of capturing your signature..for that you can Google.

Google Forms

The last option and in my opinion the best if you are a business and regularly get customers or clients to fill out forms.  There’s so much you can do with Google Forms !

OnPlot Solutions

All this is well and good if you’re technically minded or up for a challenge.  Frequently, we just don’t have time in business to do these things and that’s where we come in – we’ll do the work for you; from a single pdf to a suite of forms with data collection in Google.  We’re happy to advise on the most appropriate solution for your needs. Please contact us today.