Arcadis used drones to 10X their surveying and volumetric efficiency

When your client wants fast, accurate volumetric calculations for earthwork across a 46 kilometer highway, conventional surveying is not an option. Arcadis put Site Scan to the test on one of the largest highway projects in the Middle East – Qatar’s Orbital Highway. 

Arcadis is a global engineering consultancy, with over 27,000 employees across 350 offices across the world. For 150 years, they have contributed their expertise to some of the largest infrastructure projects on the planet. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for all by delivering excellent results on every project. 

In Doha, Qatar, Arcadis was lead designer on the 14-lane, 46 kilometer Orbital Highway. Their client, Qatari Diar Vinci Construction, wanted fast, accurate volumetric calculations for the earthwork throughout the entire roadway.

Due to the massive size of the Orbital Highway project, Arcadis needed a surveying solution that was as reliable as their traditional surveying teams, but faster and scalable across the scope of the project.

Site Scan as a solution
Site Scan allowed Arcadis survey and process volumetric data 10X faster than their conventional surveying workflow. In a side by side comparison, Site Scan captured a 3-acre site in just 20 minutes, compared to a traditional survey of 3 hours. Additionally, Site Scan captured more than 1.5 million points, compared to just 197 with traditional methods, providing much greater detail to their cut-and-fill analysis.


In total, Arcadis produced 34 unique orthomosaics to capture the highway project. They could then export those maps into LAS and TIFF files to generate surfaces in Civil 3D to produce their volumetric calculations.

Thanks to Site Scan’s ability to georeference the scan data with ground control points, Arcadis was able to ensure that their scan data reflected reality as closely as possible for maximum accuracy. Now, Arcadis is actively scaling their drone operations and identifying new projects where Site Scan can make an impact.


“The elevation model in Site Scan is helpful for understanding drainage and runoff areas.”, Paul Kawuma, BIM Manager Arcadis

Site Scan has helped to drastically speed up survey and data analysis workflows for the Orbital Highway team in order to meet their 2018 project completion goal. As a result, they have lowered operational costs, identified issues and risks quicker, and helped to inform decisions about the project.


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