# Calculating volumes of gravel piles

Global Mapper UserTrusted User
edited November 2013
Hi there, is there a tutorial somwhere for calculating a volume of say a pile of gravel for example?

I would imagine I just draw around the pile and then right click? to get the volume?

I suppose it will show up as a cut/fill but that will not work well if say the pile is on an incline.

For example it would be best if the outline of the pile (drawn by hand) was used to close the "hole" under the pile then that volume of the pile would be accurate even if it were on a slope.

Thank you.

I am using GM 14 btw

Steve
«1

## Comments

• Administrator
edited February 2013
Steve,

The easiest thing right now is if you have 2 surfaces, one with the pile and one without, then you can use the Analysis->Measure Volume Between Surfaces menu command to easily measure the volume of a selected areas, even on a slope. Assuming you don't have that, what you could do is right-click on the full grid and select to create point features from the grid layer centers, then do it in a box big enough to cover the entire pile. Then select all of those new points within the pile area with the Digitizer Tool and delete them, then right-click on that new point layer and select to create a new grid. The new grid should be the ground beneath the pile, assuming a straight fill in of the hole. Then you will have 2 surfaces to measure volume between.

Now that I describe it, I will also add this to the todo list as it would be very handy to do this automatically.

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited February 2013
Thanks for the response... yes I think that would be very helpful if the process was refined a bit. A good chunk of my time will be spent getting volumes or surface areas of "chunks"

My ideal work flow would be simply trace the bottom of the pile, the program assumes that I want to just close the solid using this polyline and then cut the pile off and even create a separate solid that I can identify a volume or surface area for.

having some sort of identifyable solid that I could even put on a separte layer would be great because then maybe I could even modify it if needed....

Surface area is handy for calclulating for example how much seed is required to buy to seed a certain berm.

Thanks.

Steve
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited February 2013
It would be really good if we could assign some attribues to this pile, say a pile name and date then export the volume with these attibues attached to say an excel file.... with that we can then do some pile comparisons in excel with the same pile name from previous dates :) that would be really nice.

Steve
• Administrator
edited February 2013
Steve,

I will make it very easy when I update it. You will just select the area(s) in the Digitizer Tool and right-click to Measure Volume, then the measure volume will have an option to measure relative to an assumed straight slope inside the area. If you have multiple the results will be displayed in a table that you can save. I'll let you know when I add it.

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited February 2013
Wow that is amzaing support! Thank you!

Steve
• Global Mapper User
edited February 2013
I have just processed a flight and have the same problem; joined the forum to see if there was a neat solution. I look forward to hearing about any new tool to do as Steve describes. From a contractors point of view, the stockpile is only as valid as the time it was flown and so quarry managers want the data yesterday.
A question for GM - and perhaps Steve. Is there any merit in using the point cloud data in a similar way to LIDAR data? Would it give more accurate volumes?
• Administrator
edited February 2013
If you have a point cloud flown for the area it would be a good thing to use for the volumes. You would just grid it on import (or after load), then use that for the volume calculations. The point cloud will tend to be higher accuracy than normal DEMs from other means.

I will hopefully add the even easier volume measurement stuff very soon, perhaps even tomorrow.

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/
• Global Mapper User
edited February 2013
Mike,
Your method of creating a new grid without any values to create a new surface isn't working for me. I fully accept that it is probably me being a bozo.
I get as far as selecting the points with the digitizer tools and hitting delete. When I right click to create a new grid, I am told 'Failed to generate any elevation grid tiles'
I have even tried changing the values via 'OPTIONS'/Alter elevation values but that only moves everything up or down.
• Administrator
edited February 2013
Are you right-clicking on the point layer that you just deleted the points from to create the new modified surface? Does the error show anything else, like a filename and line number that would help me pinpoint the error?

I'm hoping to get the much simpler method that does this automatically in the background in the next day or two, I've just been quite sick all week so I'm not getting much done beyond keeping up with support.

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/
• Global Mapper User
edited March 2013
Mike,
I hope you are over your illness.
I tried your method again but it still didn't work but using the logic, I managed to get some values out.
I clipped out a stockpile and isolated it from the rest of the DEM and made a grid.
I then made a copy of the grid and using a text editor, changed all the z values in the copy to the average value at the base of the stockpile.
Then it worked and I think I got a reasonable result.
But I have to check it somehow.........
• Administrator
edited March 2013
I did get better then had to travel unexpectedly for a family emergency, so this keeps getting pushed back with the crush of support lately. Hopefully I can finally get to it in the next few days.

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper.php
• Administrator
edited March 2013
I have updated the volume measurement either from the Measure Tool or in the Digitizer Tool by selecting one or more areas or closed lines then selecting the Measure Volume option. It now has an option to 'Use Heights from Terrain Surface at Boundary' as the base heights. This option can be selected when your Volume Calculation Type setting is for area features.

This will generate a new surface inside the selected areas that is formed from the base of elevations at each area vertex. Then the difference between that surface and the other terrain surfaces (presumably with piles on them) is calculated and the results are reported for each selected area.

I have placed a new build at http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/downloads/global-mapper/global_mapper14.zip with the latest changes for you to try. Simply download that file and extract the contents into your existing v14.xx installation folder to give it a try. If you are using the 64-bit v14 version there is a new build at http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/downloads/global-mapper/global_mapper14_64bit.zip .

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited May 2013
Hi Mike, I am about to try this now... thanks!

Steve
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited May 2013
I am not sure what I am doing wrong but the volume output numbers are huge....

like in the order of hundreds of thousands of cubib meters which should be a few hundred....

Steve
• Administrator
edited May 2013
Steve,

Which build date do you have? The initial implementation of this had some bugs with units, but the absolute latest should work fine. You can get it at Global Mapper Downloads (or Global Energy Mapper Downloads for Global Energy Mapper). If you have Global Energy Mapper there is even a special option just for pile volumes that automates the whole thing. Just select the pile area(s), then select PILE VOLUME right-click option in Digitizer Tool Measure submenu.

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
Blue Marble Geographics for Coordinate Conversion, Image Reprojection and Vector Translation
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited May 2013
Hi Mike thanks for the response, I just have the global mapper (non energy version) maybe I should have bought the energy version.... I don't remember that being around....

I just downloaded the build you linked at the beginning of this thread.... I will try re-downloading...

Is it possible to exchange licenes for the energy version? that seems more applicable to my applications from what I am reading.

Thanks!!!

Steve
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited May 2013
nope... still getting hundreds of thousands of cubic metres.....

Steve
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited May 2013
Actually when I select a flat area I still get volumes in the hundreds of thousands of cubic meters.... if i measure the diameter and height of the pile manually the measurements seem close to real world numbers....

it must be something I am doing wrong, I simply am using the distance tool to mark an area, then close it, then right click and select pile volume... select "calculate cut and fill volumes within area feature" then select "use heights from terrain surface" and then OK....

Am I missing something?

Steve
• Administrator
edited May 2013
Steve,

Oh wow I just tried and it looks like in the midst of some massive changes I was making last week I completely broke the new function! I have fixed it now. I have placed a new build at http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/downloads/global-mapper/global_mapper14.zip with the latest changes for you to try. Simply download that file and extract the contents into your existing v14.xx installation folder to give it a try. If you are using the 64-bit v14 version there is a new build at http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/downloads/global-mapper/global_mapper14_64bit.zip .

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
Blue Marble Geographics for Coordinate Conversion, Image Reprojection and Vector Translation
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited May 2013
Thanks Mike, I downloaded the new version and now I get some good numbers!

Now for the next trick, I am reading and trying to find a way to do this but forgive my ignorance as I am new with teh program.

I selected "create new line/area feature" in the volume sub menu... but it does not create a new feature... that I can find at least, I assume it should show up in the control centre?

What I want to do is simply make something like an area feature around each pile, call it "1" or "2" etc for the pile number. Then have the program read the attributes I assign to it (pile volume, surface area etc) into a chart....

Is this possible?

Thanks!

Steve
• Administrator
edited May 2013
Steve,

It looks like the option to create new area features when using the Measure Tool and the new vertex height options wasn't implemented. I've fixed that now. I have placed a new build at http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/downloads/global-mapper/global_mapper14.zip with the latest changes for you to try. Simply download that file and extract the contents into your existing v14.xx installation folder to give it a try. If you are using the 64-bit v14 version there is a new build at http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/downloads/global-mapper/global_mapper14_64bit.zip .

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
Blue Marble Geographics for Coordinate Conversion, Image Reprojection and Vector Translation
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited May 2013
Awesome Mike, great support! Thanks!

Steve
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited June 2013
Hi Mike I have downloaded the latest non beta version of the program and we are back to having incorrect pile volumes....

Can you take a peek and see?

Thanks
• Administrator
edited June 2013
Can you confirm the version you are using? Can you get the latest build and see if it still fails? I just did a quick test and it seemed ok. I have placed a new build at http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/downloads/global-mapper/global_mapper14.zip with the latest changes for you to try. Simply download that file and extract the contents into your existing v14.xx installation folder to give it a try. If you are using the 64-bit v14 version there is a new build at http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/downloads/global-mapper/global_mapper14_64bit.zip .

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
Global Mapper
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited June 2013
Hi Mike, I am using the 64 bit version which comes up as 14.2.1 after downloading from you link above.

I am getting like overf 200,000 cubic meters for something that should be about 197 cubic meters.

Steve
• Global Mapper User
edited June 2013
Mike,
I am rewriting this as my last post does not seem to have got through to you.
I am returning to this subject as I now have a real job to do rather than test data.
I have downloaded the latest version which I hope will have sorted our my own inadequacies in installing patches.
Would you advise me on my current understanding of how you prepare the original data as it has yet to be added to the help files (I believe).
1. I have cut out a chunk of ARCGIS grid data from a larger file of a pile of gravel and then made a further copy, so I have two copies of exactly the same file.
2. Within GM, how do I set each of the z values in one file to the lowest value in the set, the intention being to make a flat base to the pile?
Thanks

Alan
• Administrator
edited June 2013
For the volume calculation problem, which settings are you using on the volume dialog when doing the volume calculation? Are you using the Measure Tool or measuring from an existing area? Specifically make sure you aren't saying the elevations are relative to sea level when they are relative to ground or vice-versa.

Alan, if you have the 2 layers loaded, to make a new one with the minimum from each at each location use the Analysis menu command to Combine/Compare terrain and select to use the minimum at each location.

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
gmsupport@bluemarblegeo.com
http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper.php
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited October 2013
Hi Mike,

I can create two surfaces, one bare earth and one surface.. I can also create a polyline to exactly define the ground around the pile. I think the best thing for me is to use this data and subtract the surfaces within the selected polyline as the extents.

In the interactive version of 14.2, it gives you some parameters like grid spacing.. These parameters are hidden when just subtracting volumes.

Q: what is the spacing used when subtracting terrain. what if the two surfaces have different spacing.
Q: algorithm. Are we just talking volumes at grid points, or a tin-subtraction?

Kind Regards,

Robin
• Administrator
edited October 2013
Robin,

The spacing used will be at most the spacing of the most resolute layer, but the operation will make sure to sample at the very minimum a 128x128 grid of samples within the area so small areas (compared to the sample resolution) still get a lot of sample locations. Basically it should automatically use a spacing that won't lose any significant precision as compared to the inherent error in the grid.

Thanks,

Mike
Global Mapper Guru
geohelp@bluemarblegeo.com
Blue Marble Geographics for Coordinate Conversion, Image Reprojection and Vector Translation
• Global Mapper User Trusted User
edited November 2013
Hello Mike, I started reading this thread trying to build a Surface with no pile to compare it to a surface with the pile. Wasnt until page 2 that I found that the PILE VOLUME option was already implemented.

My question is as follows. How does the command calculates the base height? It says "alongside the boundary". Can you explain that on high detail?

Another thing, is it recommended to use PILE VOLUME on terrain with high slopes?

I'm curious because Im planning to give this service to mining company and I want to be really sure of the accuracy of this method.

Thanks in advance.
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