Applicable plans
Valley Mountain Peak


You want to measure volumes and you need to choose correct reference planes to perform the calculations.


You can calculate the volume between a pile and a reference surface using the Calculate Volume function.

Before calculating the volume, you need to set the reference level properly through Home tab > Volume Operations > Reference. You have 2 options to set the reference surface:  
  1. 3D polygon
  2. Flat

3D Polygon means that Virtual Surveyor will use a triangulated surface as the reference level. The triangulated surface is created from the 3D vertices of the selected polygon. The Flat reference level will set all vertices of the selected polygon at the same elevation that is specified by the user.

Choosing a reference plane

3D polygon

This Reference is recommended to use when you are working with piles that are clearly separated from each other. 

Simply select 3D polygon in the Reference drop-down and you can start the volume calculation.

Flat reference plane

When you need to measure the volumes of piles that touch each other or other obstacles (such as walls, machinery, fences etc.) use the Flat Reference.

When the Reference is set to Flat you need to specify the Elevation value.

In order to choose an elevation of your reference surface place the mouse cursor at the foot of the stockpile you want to measure. The elevation (Z) will be displayed in the lower right corner of your screen (146,07 m in the illustration).

Verifying the reference plane

To make sure your volume calculation is correct you can verify the reference plane:
  • Select your polygon(s).
  • Keep the same Reference plane you used in the volume calculation.
  • Go to Home > Volume Operations and click the Modify Terrain button.

The reference plane will be displayed in the 3D window:

To come back to the original view of your pile you can always turn off the Modify Terrain object by unchecking it in the ProjectTree.