Cross-sectional Area of a pile


Welcome help in determining the cross sectional area (in sq ft) of a large/long pile of telephone poles?
Easy enough to generate the elevation profile multiple hundreds of feet long by dragging the line across them and ground below is level but I dont see a way to generate a cross-section volume and I dont see a command to do this.

Thanks in advance.


Interesting volume request. Can you explain a little further what your goal is? Like this? Are you trying to count the poles?

No count not needed as company has good idea of size and internal ways to calculate. I just need an easy cross sectional area which I can get the profile from and existing ground on each side. It’s a math problem but figured there must be away in DD can quickly provide it. Not always going to see the face.

When you get multiple large piles stacked together on each side where not safe to walk narrow areas between them at 60’+ best approach.

Can do manually but a profile acting as a cross section must simpler and faster as lengths are consistent.

When I hear cross-section I think of a vertical cut. Are you wanting the horizontal surface area of the bottom of the pile? And elevations around it? Sorry I am not quite getting this one. obviously the area tool will give you the 2D measurement, but no elevations. I am kind of thinking that you need a 3D polyline around the pile that is also reporting the area inside that polyline. There have been requests for multi-point lines that will still provide the profile because once you enter more than two points all it gives you is the linear dimensions. Am I anywhere close?

Hey Michael - no not a individual tally of poles, just cross-sectional areas of middle of the pile where I draw the sectioning line.

If you take the image you have, and the red circle around the outside minus the hatch and slide that circle to the middle of the pile where it becomes the cross-section face. I need the cross-sectional area in sf ft there as it better approximates the stacking… Imagine the pile up to a thousand yards long and 80’ or so high. Once I know the cross section of the pile in the middle, the uniformity of content makes it easy to determine all the rest as I have surveyed the ground etc. and have control. Piles next to each other that may overlap in places so you cant see between them become irrelevant. Its a simple way to determine since client knows avg diam of all the various piles sorted by it and my survey control ensures consistent results of pile flow in and out.

I guess in simplest terms its having the DD elevation profile draw a straight line between the profile start and end points to close and using that figure accounting for Horz/Vert scale report back that cross-section area in units set which in my case is sq ft. Really about that simple, the rest I can do pretty easy on my end…

Realizing of course that this only works if you have the ground flat between starting and ending points of the profile which I account for.

I just used the end of the pile as that was the easiest way to convey it with the image that I found, but I think we’re talking about the same thing. DroneDeploy currently doesn’t report surface area on a vertical basis. What we need is that plus the option to have base planes so that it will draw that straight line on the bottom of the section,but would also give you the capability to choose the highest point or lowest point instead of just the triangulation across and it would then report the square footage contained and the perimeter length of the vertical polygon. Would that work? also, the distance measurement tool gives you the slope distance and the horizontal distance. The area tool gives you the surface area and the 2D area. The volume tool gives you the volume and the 2D area. There may be ways to use the existing tools for now.

Yes exactly. The center pile profile and connecting the start and end points to close in the same horz/vert scale (ie 1:1) creates the cross-section thats needed. The rest is easy to take off from there.

Thanks I will keep trying to cobble together what I need from those measurement options. Appreciate the feedback.

For sure! Could you post a Feature Request “Vertical Areas” and the description of your use-case and “We need a way to measure vertical squared measurements of a cross-section?”. We’ll get DD to respond and in the meantime I will let you know if I find a hack. Buen vuelo from Texas!