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Volume calculation surveys

Earth work volume calculations are often performed in the field by land surveyors or civil engineers. Earthworks surveys are needed to calculate the volume of earthworks for a given project. Earth works surveys are often repeated and volume calculations compared over time. This can be done in two ways:

– by surveying the area and calculating the volumes of earthworks or stock piles with a drone land survey using a photogrammetry or lidar survey data

– by surveying the area and taking measurements from a topographical survey using traditional land survey equipment and calculating volumes from that data.

Stockpile volume calculations from drone survey data
Stockpile volume calculations from drone survey data

Traditional Land Surveying is relatively time consuming, expensive, and requires a lot of manpower to be carried out successfully. A Land Surveyor walks the whole site recording the 3d position of coded points. Features are mapped and a contour model produced. Stock pile volumes and earth work volumes can then be calculated. Sequential comparisons with restoration levels, design levels, erosion or deposition patterns can be accurately compared over time.

Measuring volumes with a drone is safer, quicker and more cost effective

In order to make data collection more rapid safer and more cost effective, drones are being used as an alternative option for surveying purposes. Survey grade data is rapidly collected across a whole site in a much smaller time frame. A traditional survey would often involve repeat visits every few weeks to help accurately monitor how much material has been moved on and off site. By using a drone data collection is much quicker. A drone can cover far larger areas with less risk of personnel injury on difficult terrain from falls or machinery. By reducing the time frame of data collection it is possible to increase the frequency of surveys.

Drone deliverables are also better

Each visit provides an orthographic photograph or a 3d photorealistic model of the whole site as well as a topographical survey and volume report. Frequent shorter surveys allowing for rates of movement as well of volumes to be accurately monitored, supplementing your normal weigh bridge with more qualitative and quantitative data. Ultimately, a drone mapping survey can deliver a 3d model or digital twin of both the terrain and physical assets on site.

Stockpile with profile section line
Stockpile with profile section line

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