Applicable plans
Valley Ridge Peak

Monitoring dirt on a construction site is a challenge. Using Cut/Fill maps helps to assess work that has been done and also remaining work. If you have multiple drone surveys, the Volume Difference tool helps you to create colorful maps that give you a quick overview of how the dirt is moved on the project. In additions you get quantities related to that map. Cut/Fill maps are also useful to manage mines and quarries operations (e.g. high walls monitoring or blasting).  

Combined with the Cut/Fill Map settings, the Volume Difference tool allows you to generate easy understandable maps and very detailed quantity reports. Have a look to this article that describes best practices for earthwork monitoring.

The resulting map is available as a volume item in the project view. You can access the volume difference tool in the Volumes group of the SELECTION TOOLS tab when a boundary is selected and only if your project contains multiple terrain states.

Quick Usage Guide

  1. Switch to the Terrain State on which you want to create a cut/fill map.
  2. Create a Boundary around the area and then select it.
  3. In the TOOLS tab navigate to the Volumes group and set the Reference State.
  4. Click on the Volume Difference button to launch the Cut/Fill map calculation.
  5. A progress bar in the bottom displays and the Cut/Fill map is created in the Viewport
  6. Quantities are available in the Volume Box


The Volume Difference tool allows you to create a Cut/Fill map and related quantities calculation.

You can obtain a Volume Difference between two drone surveys acquired on two different dates. In this case you are assessing the work that has been done during that specific period of time. 

If you want to determine the remaining earthwork, you need to import the design surface into Virtual Surveyor. Create a new Terrain State and drop the design CAD file in the project view. Make sure to select the design surface and click on the Modify terrain button available in SELECTION - TOOLS for Surface. Switch to the current terrain state and select the design terrain state as reference before launching the Volume Difference calculation. That time, quantities available in volume box reflects Cut/Fill still to be done. 

Cut areas appear in warm colors (yellow to red) and fill areas appear in cool colors (cyan to blue).

Tips & Tricks

  • Before launching the Volume Difference calculation, make sure that all your Terrain States are cleaned. You can use the Replace Terrain and Remove Object tools to easily clean your terrains. 
  • Highlight significant earthwork areas and enhance the color appearance by fine tuning the Cut/Fill map settings available in the SELECTION - TOOLS for Volume.
  • You can go deeper in the Cut/Fill analysis by breaking down the Cut/Fill map into separate area. This allows you to deliver more detailed quantity reports. Use the Extract Cut/Fill Area tool to achieve this.
  • Use Cut/Fill annotations to get a better insight about earthwork quantities.

Related workflow