Virtual Surveyor, a software dedicated to the 3D-visualization and analysis of geospatial data from photogrammetry, has released Version 7.1 of its drone surveying software.

Included in this version is functionality to efficiently calculate volumetrics in quarries, mine pits, retention ponds, and other basins that fill with water. This new functionality complements advanced cut-and-fill mapping capabilities unveiled in late 2019.

Virtual Surveyor is popular among surveyors because it bridges the gap between UAV photogrammetric processing applications and engineering design packages. The software generates an interactive onscreen environment with UAV orthophotos/DSMs and/or LiDAR point clouds where the surveyor selects survey points and breaklines to define the topography, creating highly accurate products up to five times faster than otherwise possible.

In Version 7.1, the user may apply two new functions called Extract Level and Create Water to delineate an entire water body and represent its surface as a single elevation. Extracting the water level as a uniform flat surface from an orthophotograph is difficult due to ‘noise’ inherent in the drone data set. This process previously required the user to manually delineate the water feature by selecting dozens of points around its perimeter.

The Extract Level and Create Water functions are faster because delineating the water feature can be accomplished with a single click on a point where the water meets the edge of a basin, pond or quarry. This creates a perfectly flat elevation for the water surface in the generated surface model.

This new capability builds on the cut-and-fill mapping enhancements added to Virtual Surveyor last year, enabling users to quickly perform volume difference calculations and generate cut-and-fill maps from drone images captured on two or more different dates. Stormwater managers can use all these functions together, for example, to determine how much sediment has been deposited in water retention ponds.

Current subscribers to Virtual Surveyor will see their software being updated to Version 7.1 automatically.