Algorithm Details

Supported Sensors
Visual (RGB), BGNIR, RGNIR, Micasense, Sequoia
Supported resolution
5.00 cm/px or less
Other Requirements 

- 3D outputs selected during orthomosaic process
- Quality 3D outputs present-
    - Orbital flight around stock pile paired with Grid pattern is suggested
    - Increased Front and Side Overlap
- Pile must be in open area

Estimated Processing Time
Less than 2 hours
Shapefile, KML, PDF Map


The Volume Measurement algorithm will calculate cut and fill volumes for a user defined area. To do this it takes in the 3 Dimensional outputs calculated in the orthomosaic process, specifically the DSM, to define the cut and fill volumes within the user defined bounds of the measurement area.

The methods used do account for the base terrain slope. Instead of assuming a flat horizontal base below the pile, the calculation will interpolate the base height from the elevation under the vertices of the are of interested delineated by the user. 

Cut Volume- Is a measurement of how much would need to be taken away from the pile to create a even surface on flat ground or slope

Fill Volume- will tell you how much would need to be added to the depression to create a even surface on flat ground or slope

For best results the user should be sure to delineate an area directly at the edge/base of the pile/hole that is being measured with the algorithm. It is not recommended to attempt isolating the volumes from closely adjacent piles or piles adjacent to a cliff or containment cubby. 

Running the Algorithm

1. To successfully apply the Volume Measurement algorithm you must upload your data and wait for the orthomosaic to Complete processing. Once complete pick Volume from the Applicable Algorithms below the viewer. 

2. In this first step review your survey and the specifications of your survey to ensure that this is the correct survey.

3. In the next step you are highlighting a polygon that will define your stock pile. It is very important to select the very edge of your stock pile for the most accurate Volume Measurements. You can use the polygon tool within the viewer or upload a shapefile to establish the bounds of the measurement. 

4.   In the final step select whether you would like a KML output included and apply the algorithm. 

5. Once the algorithm is complete PrecisionMapper will give you the information shown below in the viewer. You can now download all of your outputs by clicking on the Volume Measurement tab displayed to the right. 


The Volume Measurement algorithm has three different outputs that are produced- Shapefile, KML, and PDF Report. You are also able to view the Volume measurements in the PrecisionMapper viewer as seen above. 

  • Shapefile- Can be opened with almost any GIS or Remote Sensing software. Once opened you will find Cut and Fill measurements for each stockpile in your output within the attribute table of the layer. For more information on opening a shapefile in the free QGIS software see our Making Sense of Your Data article

  • KML- Similar to the Shapefile mentioned above. This will include the outline of your stockpile with cut and fill data embedded in the shape. A KML file can be easily opened in Google Earth. 

  • PDF Map- The map will include a full elevation map of your area of interest. On top of this elevation map a outline of your stock pile will be present with a label to distinguish between several piles if you ran more than one at a time. At the very bottom there is a table preset to tell you Cut, Fill, and Total volumes represented in both cubic meters and yards.