Virtual Surveyor includes a Terrain State feature that helps you manage your earthwork or mining projects over time. Terrain States are Image Terrains that are captured (via drone) at different points in time and uploaded into Virtual Surveyor as separate Layers. With drone surveying, surveyors often have a lot of data to manage and it's not always easy to keep everything organized and in order. The Terrain State feature makes it much easier to organize and manage your data by being able to quickly toggle between the different layers of terrain images and compare changes.

This article shows you how to use the Terrain State tool and how it makes your project management easier.


Note: Terrain State features are only available in the Peak plan.

Terrain State Feature Descriptions

Click on the drop-down arrow next to the current Terrain State name/date to access these features.

Add Terrain State "+" button next to the text box in the Terrain State drop-down menu. Enter a name or a date and click that button to create a new Terrain State
Rename Terrain State Edit Button next to the Terrain State name. Enables the terrain state name editing. After entering a new name or date press Enter to complete. 
Remove Terrain State "X" button next to the Terrain State name. Erases the Terrain State from the project. 
Switch Terrain State Select a name/date in the drop-down menu to change the current Terrain State

Quick Usage Guide

  1. Create a Project and import the first drone data set.
  2. Go to the Terrain State tool to rename it.

  3. Create a second Terrain State and select it.

  4. Import the second data set.

  5. Create as many Terrain States as there are drone surveys and import each data set into the dedicated Terrain State.

Hint: You can delete a Terrain State by clicking the "X" button. Deleting a Terrain State removes all items and references to that Terrain State from your project.

Why the Terrain States are Useful

  • Manage a job site over time through timelapse. If your project contains multiple terrain states, you can easily switch from a drone survey to another by selecting the Terrain State in the drop-down menu.

  • Monitor earthwork changes over time. Use the Cut/Fill tool to create Cut/Fill maps between terrain states. Watch the video to get more details about the workflow.

  • Assess what earthwork needs to be done by comparing Terrain States to design surfaces via imported CAD design surfaces (either DXF or XML files). Import that CAD file into a Terrain State to use it as a reference for the Cut/Fill map.

  • Monitor Mining Projects over time. Use Cut/Fill maps and pinned items between Terrain States to assess blasting areas or the progress of extraction zones. Check out the video about dredging operations in a sandpit.

  • Create a Baseline by converting a Low Pass Point Surface into a Terrain State. Use the converted data as a reference base for cut/fill calculations on each Terrain State.

Tips and Tricks

  • Name each Terrain State with survey dates to easily identify and manage changes. Use the date format YYYY-MM-DD (e.g., 2019-07-18 for July 18th, 2019) and the Terrain States are automatically put in order in the drop-down menu.
  • You can move items from one Terrain State to another by using cut/paste tools.
  • Terrestrial surveys can be imported as Terrain States.
  • Use the pin option in the Project View to make a survey item available for all the Terrain States
  • Cleaning terrain tools only applies to the selected Terrain State.

Terrain States [5 ideas]