top of page

3 Types of Contours — Which Option is Best for your Surveying Project?

Nearly every land surveying project needs updated, accurate contours. Whether you’re moving dirt, pouring concrete or measuring terrain, contours are king in the world of LiDAR and land surveying.

Contours are crucial to surveying and construction projects because they provide a way to represent the shape and elevation of the land's surface on a map. Contours are by far the most-ordered deliverable through ROCK Cloud.

At ROCK Robotic, the contours we deliver just got better.

Don’t get us wrong — we already produce accurate contours down to as little as 1 cm or less. But now, with every set of contours ROCK Cloud users order, we deliver 3 contour files. Think of our new approach as the “3 Bears” of contours.

Smooth Contours

ROCK Cloud power users have asked for smoother contours which many clients like to see. Sure, they’re not as accurate, but they’re easy on the eyes. These are like the Mama Bear of contours. Most surveyors like the smooth contours because it looks similar and familiar to them from the products they've been getting in the past. Smooth contours are similar to the results surveyors get from a traditional cut line.


Rough Contours

For some, the smooth curves are too soft. Many of you want the most accurate contours possible. We’re happy to provide that. Our roughest — but most accurate — contours out there. These are great for ultra-precise engineering projects or earthwork jobs. This is your Papa Bear contour, more commonly known as engineering contours or mathematical contours.

Rough contours are great for earthworks projects, as they calculate precise amounts of dirt to either remove or add to level a grade for a site. ROCK users have saved thousands of dollars by using LiDAR to measure precise contours in earthworks projects.


Balanced Contours

Jagged, ultra-precise contours are too rough for some clients. If you want the best of both worlds, you can average the smooth contours with the rough, accurate ones, resulting in balanced contours (a.k.a. Baby Bear). For some ROCK Cloud users, this is the “just right” combination of visually appealing and still very accurate.


Side-by-Side Comparison

So now, when you order contours through ROCK Surveyor, you’ll get all three types of contours as separate files. You don’t have to pay more for these three types of contours — it’s the standard contour deliverable you’ve always ordered through ROCK Surveyor. We're doing this because we want you to be able to optimize the deliverable for your needs. We want to empower you to work with your data efficiently and professionally.

Get the "just right" version of contours you need by processing your data in ROCK Cloud.


Start your 14-day free trial of ROCK Cloud today at


bottom of page