3D Terrain Model Saves Time and Money

Client: Potlatch

Location: St Maries, Idaho

A 3D terrain model of a rock quarry created using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) saved the quarry’s owner time and money.

When Potlach, a public diversified forest products and real estate company, needed to know the remaining capacity of a rock quarry in North Idaho, we deployed UAS in tandem with GPS ground control points to create a 3D terrain model. The entire site was successfully mapped in just a few hours, not only avoiding the expense of traditional aerial mapping with large aircraft or total station surveying, but also avoiding exposing surveyors to the steep, unstable slopes of the rock quarry.

The client was exceptionally satisfied with the data products, which were incorporated into Civil3D for grading scenarios, and the volume calculated to estimate the amount of material left in the quarry. The client was able to associate a dollar amount with the volume estimate, considerably reducing the cost of a subsequent property transaction.

View a 3D point cloud with imagery captured using UAS, below.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
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Erik Strandhagen

Senior GIS Analyst & FAA-Certified Remote Pilot

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