Volume Measurement - Lowest Point

After 4 years of succesful applying DD for stock pile measurements i got the idea that it would be very helpful when the lowest point of the curve indicating the stock pile would appear in an other color.

I think that this would make the search for the ideal line much more effective.

I would be thankful when the developer team will take this feature into consideration.

Many thanks,

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So you are looking for it to change the color of the lowest point in the series of points in the polygon? I think it is definitely worth looking into, but if I understand it correctly I don’t quite see how one point is going to define the entire toe or how it would be able to change dynamically as you pull it across the surface.

There are several methods that make it quite easy to locate the actual toe of the stockpile. Distance profile, Elevation Layer and 3D Takeoff.

Distance Profile - Create a perpendicular annotation and see where the toe falls in comparison to the mid-point. This was an older method that we used if we were unsure before the following two methods were available.

Elevation Layer - This is probably the quickest way to see the stockpile in a manner that makes it obvious where the real change in grade happens. The trick with this one is that when you are on terrain that is very sloped or the change of grade across the site is severe that you can adjust the sliders to get a more relevant gradient on the area your are taking off.

As you can see this site has allot of relief so the stockpiles are not very defined when the elevation profile is spread across the entire site.


You can then adjust the slider bar to get more definition.

3D Viewer - This is best for confusing stockpile shapes or if there is grass or silt fence around the stockpile that makes is more difficult to hit a low area. Just drag the vertices around and you will see it change elevation. This is particularly good when stockpiles abut each other and you have to find the low point or jump across. We typically set by the elevation view and then tweak with the 3D view using the cut fill gradient to remove any fill areas.

As you can see this stockpile is quite irregular, but it is also to tell that there is very little blue area so your reported quantity will be a more accurate cut value. You can also more easily see the toe of the abutting stockpiles.

Dear MichaelL,
many thanks for rapid answer and the detailed explanation.

Of course the three types of finding the toe of a stockpile were familiar to me.

When trying to find the ideal polygon of a stockpile I can change the positions of all of the points slightly to see the effect on volume measurement result. Expecially for the “lowest point” method there is often one distinct point on which the change in volume is very sensitive. I assume that this would be the lowest point of the polygon. Sometimes if I shift this distinct point by some few centimeters the change in volume is by some percent. Can you confirm this, please?

My idea is that it would help me to find the ideal polygon much more easier if I would know the point having the lowest height.

I assume that inside the algorithms the height of all the points are known, such that it is a little work for the software designers to implement it. A change in color is just a suggestion. Probably another kind of indicator is more convenient.

Looking forward to your opinion about this.

Many thanks, Aircontec

I see if you are focused more on the Lowest Point base plane then this might be more appropriate, but I think the Elevation color layer would make this pretty apparent. Your first pick according to that is going to be pretty precise most of the time and there normally be a very small percentage change from there. Our rule is if it is within a truckload it is close enough. The main factor is not having any fill. There is also a function to establish a flat base plane according to a specific elevation in the works that I need to check on. This would be perfect for situations of cutting or filling to a known elevation.

I think you may be right about the ability to code in a function, but I also think that it being dynamic can be more complex than what we think. Especially if all volumetric functions are under a master line of code. Then you run the risk of causing an undesirable behaviour in another function.

Hi MichaelL,
thanks for your reply.

My intention was to supply a feature request. I am still interested, if my idea to indicate the lowest of the points of a polygon may be interesting for some users.

I am strongly convinced that the DD software experts could do this successfully.

Best regards, Aircontec