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Pix4D BIM Volumes: Possible to calculate volume between UAS missions?

Hello,

We have a large earthwork project where we successfully uploaded our 1st UAS photogrammetry data to Pix4D BIM cloud.  We are going to be adding additional data sets to this project’s Site on Pix4D BIM cloud on a monthly basis.  A question came up about the volume tool available on Pix4DBIM cloud. 

We like the basic tool which can help with stockpile volumes, but is it possible to calculate volumes between UAS missions within the same Site?  Same process of drawing a polygon, but being able to specify the UAS-specific DSMs that are uploaded to a given Site?

I can’t figure out if this functionality exists…I hope it does because that would be most meaningful for proper site-wide earthwork analysis.

Thanks,

Mike

Hi Michael, 

thanks a lot for your question. Unfortunately, at the current version of the Pix4Dbim Cloud, you cannot replace the DSM’s on a specific project. What you can do, which is also the main principle of the Pix4Dbim Cloud is to upload a new project on the same site for a different day and measure again the specific volume that you are interested to. You can browse through the timeline bar the different projects (Days) of the same site.

At the new version of the Pix4Dbim a new tool called “Auto volume comparison” will compare automatically the specified area by the user for all the selected projects.  

Have a great day, 

Christos 

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Thanks Christos!

I just want to make sure you’re clear on what i’m after here. I have a “Site” on Pix4D BIM cloud. This “Site” will have multiple drone missions uploaded over time (monthly basis). We love the timeline feature to help track this, but the volume tools seem to be geared only for basic stockpile volume calculations relative the drone mission you have open.

What we really want and what you hopefully mean you all are working on with the next update, is the ability to take the same principle of your volume tools (using user-defined polygons), but be able to compare between different drone mission DSMs that are uploaded to a Pix4D BIM cloud “Site”. So instead of a tool that creates a triangulated or level surface based on the user-defined polygon from a single DSM to calculate a volume for a stockpile, we need a way to compare between DSMs between mission dates as long as they’re all uploaded and categorized as different missions with different dates within the “Site”. This would give true earthwork volumes between Drone surveys and would extend the usefulness of your platform. Other products offer this feature, so I’m hoping this option is in your R&D pipeline.

Thanks again!

Mike

Hi Micheal,

Thanks for you feedback and your suggestions.

We have on our roadmap a feature called “Volume Comparison” where you’ll be able to define a polygon and obtain the volumes of that polygon for a period of time (that you’ll be able to define in the interface). The output will be a CSV file with a line per day with the volume data. So you’ll be able to check the evolution of a stockpile over the time. Does it sounds like something that could solve your problem ?

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Thank you Julien.

Yes it sounds like you’re on the right track.  But I have a couple of follow up questions/clarifications regarding this:

  1. When you say _ “period of time” _, I assume you’re referring to the dates that are specific to the monthly Drone missions uploaded to the Pix4D BIM “Site”?  For example, if I have 3 Drone missions for the same project uploaded to Pix4D BIM.  Drone mission #1 was surveyed January 31st, the 2nd drone mission was surveyed February 28th, and the 3rd mission was surveyed March 31st.  This feature you’re working on will allow me to open the 2nd Drone Mission (via Pix4D BIM Timeline) and create a volume boundary in a given area of the Site and specify I want to compare against the 1st Drone Mission surveyed on January 31st?  So this would give me the earthwork volume (CUT and FILL and NET) for the difference between the 1st and 2nd drone mission DSMs within the polygon I specify?  I could do the same by opening the 3rd mission, create a polygon for a different area of  interest and specify that I want to compare against the 2nd mission uploaded DSM vs. the 3rd mission DSM to get the earthwork CUT/FILL/NET volumes for this date range?
  2. With respect to your comment, “So you’ll be able to check the evolution of a stockpile over the time”…this could certainly work well for stockpiles, but I’m hoping that this is not just for “stockpiles”, but for earthwork comparisons in general for a project site.  Often times, excavation is conducted in areas where we would like to know what is removed from the area (CUT volume).  This material is typically moved, placed, and compacted as “FILL” to a different area, so knowing the CUT / FILL / NET volume relationship in this type of site condition is what I’m after here. It sounds like that’s what you’re working on…it’s just the focus on the term “stockpile” that has me worried that’s all you guys think we need.  It is true the current stockpile volumes tools work fine…I just want the volume capability expanded to increase the cloud platforms usefulness to project stakeholders for typical earth moving construction projects. 
  3. Final question:  Will these volume tools be available in a “shareable” format?  Meaning…This would be functionality that the project stakeholders can perform themselves if we share the Pix4D BIM link? 

Thanks so much for your willingness to listen to suggestions and strive to develop a solid product.

 

Mike

Thanks Micheal for your explanations,

  1. What you describe is correct. You’ll be able to able draw a polygon, select your missions and obtain all the volume informations (CUT, FILL, …) for the days you have selected. We will also calculate the differences between those days.

  2. When I mentioned “stockpile” it was just an example (sorry for the misunderstanding). The feature could be use for any kind of volume calculation.

  3. The first release of this feature was planned to be only available for the project owner. The goal is then to improve it according to our users needs so we can definitely add your suggestion to our list of feature requests. We will do our best to make it happen.

Thanks again for your great inputs,

 

Julien

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Thanks very much Julien!  This is great news.  I am excited for the future enhancements.  One more question though:

Can you please explain or provide a link that discusses the concept of “Project Owner”? 

Also, I’m a little confused how the “Share” settings work and where they’re located to allow people you share a link with to have the option to save the annotation objects they create?  I have been told that the way I share, doesn’t allow folks to save their annotations…they can create them fine, but they’re not saved.  I assume this is related to the concept of Project Owner.  

Thanks again.

Mike

The concept of project owner is fairly straight forward. It means the creator of the project, which is you (I guess) in the current situation.

Please find more details on how to share a project here:
https://support.pix4d.com/hc/en-us/articles/215858503-Cloud-general-questions#label11

You can share a project in write mode so that other people can edit your project.