Boral improves the flexibility and accuracy of their volumetric reporting with Birdi

Written by
Sebastian Robertson
September 14, 2022


Boral is a construction materials company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with operating sites and distribution and administration sites across 13 countries.

‍Their quarry sites consist of stockpiles of construction materials such as asphalt, roadbase, sand and concrete; volumes of which must be monitored and reported on as part of Boral’s audit and compliance requirements. 

Historically, Boral had utilized manned aircraft to capture imagery of their sites for their stockpile reporting, but Covid’s 2020 restrictions required Boral to look for an alternate capture, visualization and stockpile reporting‍ solution, and they came to Birdi.


Birdi’s solution helps Boral in the following ways:

  • Geospatial data capture across 72 sites twice yearly
  • Geospatial data processed into 2D map orthophotos and visualized in a single workspace for their entire team
  • Volumetric reports generated with stockpile volumes calculated for every site (with surveyor sign off)

Blog Post

"We engaged Birdi to undertake drone capture and volumetric reporting. I found Birdi to be professional, fast and collaborative. The volumetric reports were issued quickly and tailored to the specific stockpiles we required."‍

Boral logo

Geoff Stephens
Quarry Manager

Geospatial data capture

As Boral requires drone data as their capture methodology - and they don’t have drone pilots within their own team - Birdi utilizes their Australian drone pilot network to capture for them. Captures are conducted twice yearly at Boral’s quarry sites, using both Ground Control Points (i.e. markers on the ground that are at known, globally accurate locations) and RTK processing for increased accuracy. Birdi’s pilot network has flown over 500 missions for Boral, with over 300,000 drone images captured to date.

Cloud-based processing into maps

The captured geospatial data is then uploaded into Boral’s workspace on Birdi for cloud-based processing into 2D and 3D maps and models. The processed outputs generated for Boral (orthophotos, Digital Elevation Models, point clouds and contours) provide meaningful context about their captured quarries - particularly for their primary use case: volumetric reporting. Birdi has processed over 2,000 maps and models for Boral to date.

Boral processing into 2D maps

Map visualization and insights

Each processed map is layered and visualized in Map View at its precise, globally accurate location. Boral’s various teams and stakeholders are then able to access each site within their workspace on Birdi and derive the insights they need. For example, Quarry Managers use annotation tools to draw and label stockpiles on the digital elevation model layer to then request volumetric reporting, whereas environmental teams use the high definition 2D map orthophotos to assess vegetation and site remediation requirements. 

Boral geospatial data map visualizations in Birdi

Volumetric reporting

Once Quarry Managers have identified the relevant stockpiles and submitted their volumetric report request, Birdi and our insights partners then work together to produce an impartial volumetric report of each Boral site that is signed off by a qualified surveyor. These reports are used as part of Boral’s site audit process, providing both site operations teams and head office planning and finance teams with accurate stockpile volume data. To date, Birdi has provided Boral over 700 volumetric reports.

Boral volumetric report from Birdi

Topography analysis

While their primary Birdi use case is volumetric reporting, Boral also uses the map outputs for site planning, overburden monitoring, drill and blast assessments and royalty reporting.

Boral contour map created in Birdi

Site planning

Both orthophoto maps and digital surface models (DSM - i.e. a 3D representation of the terrain's surface that includes natural features like vegetation and man-made structures) created in Birdi are key for site planning. Each provides Boral with a detailed view of the topography of their sites and help in identifying potential areas for excavation, roads, infrastructure, and waste disposal.

Overburden monitoring

Digital terrain models (DTM - i.e. a representation of the bare earth surface without any vegetation or structures) are utilized in Boral’s overburden monitoring, as they help with assessing the volume of material to be removed for mining operations accurately. By comparing DTMs over time, they can monitor changes in overburden and plan extraction accordingly.

Blast monitoring and assessment

Orthophotos provide before-and-after visibility of blast sites, enabling Boral to assess the effectiveness of their blasting operations, evaluate fragmentation, and optimize blast designs for better efficiency and safety.

Royalty reporting support

The accurate measurement of extracted materials from their quarry sites also assists Boral in royalty reporting by providing precise data on the quantity of minerals extracted from the site.

With Birdi, Boral have been able to improve the speed and accuracy of their stockpile reporting at a cadence that suits their needs. The insights they continue to garner from geospatial data visualized in Birdi has enabled them to further streamline their mining operations and ensure they are meeting their reporting and compliance requirements. 

Sebastian Robertson
Sebastian is Birdi's CEO and Co-founder (along with his brother, Abraham). His vision and direction for Birdi keeps our team and product aligned and humming along! Before Birdi, Seb founded a number of enterprises, including youth mental health charity, batyr.