This tutorial illustrates how to perform different types of measurements in the Model view in Metashape Professional. The article describes the use of the following measurement tools and approaches:

You can find the information about measurement tools in Ortho view in our article: DEM based measurements

On the toolbar there are following measurement tools available: Ruler and Calculate profile tool:

The Ruler tool is only active when the project is scaled or georeferenced. Profile tool is only available for georeferenced project.


Metashape enables measurements of distances between the points of the reconstructed 3D scene. Obviously, model coordinate system must be initialized before the distance measurements can be performed. Alternatively, the model can be scaled based on known distance (scale bar) information to become suitable for measurements.

Select Ruler instrument from the Toolbar of the Model view. Click on the point of the model where the measurement should start. Upon the second click on the model the distance between the indicated points is shown in the Model view:

The Ruler tool is enabled and the measurement continues unless Escape button is pressed on the keyboard. With each new click a new segment is added to the polyline and the distance is measured along this polyline. To complete the measurement and to proceed to a new one, please press Escape button on the keyboard. The result of the measurement is displayed on the Console pane (to open Console pane select View > Console):

Measure profile

Measure profile tool is available starting from the version 2.0.1. of Metashape Professional 

Select Measure profile tool on the Toolbar. On the point cloud select the point where the measurement should be started by left mouse button click. Then left-click on the second point. To calculate the profile and finish drawing the polyline use the right mouse button click. The profile will be displayed in the Measure Profile dialog window:

To calculate the profile based on DEM surface, enable show DEM on the Model view (click DEM button on the Toolbar), then both the profile based on the point cloud and on the DEM surface will be displayed in the Measure Profile dialog window:

In the Measure Profile dialog window 2 profiles are displayed: the blue dots display the profile based on the point cloud and the profile built based on DEM is displayed with gradient filling:

If Basemap is enabled in the Model view, while DEM is disabled, then in the Measure Profile dialog window instead of the DEM-based profile the gradient filling represents the profile of the Basemap surface:

You can also see the height value at the corresponding point (move the cursor over the profile):

It is possible to change the scale for only one of the axes using the Ctrl (for the Y axis) or Shift (for the X axis) key. You need to hold down one of the corresponding keys and use the mouse wheel:

Use Reset View button to resets the viewport to display the complete profile: 

You can also measure the distance and angle of the surface along the profile using the Ruler tool:

The points that are displayed as a profile are located at a distance of no more than Width/2 from the drawn profile on both sides:

Using Offset, you can shift the center of this strip across the profile (for example, to display points only to the left of the profile:

Use the Save button to save the profile in one of the following formats: KML, SHP, DXF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, PNG, TIFF, BMP, OpenEXR, TARGA. 

Shape-based measurements

Measure command is available from the context menu of a selected shape (polyline, polygon or point).

Please find the information about drawing tools in Metashape in our article: Vectorization tools

Polygon measurement

Draw a polygon on the area you are interested in and select the Measure command from the context menu:

In the Measure Shape dialog window the following tabs are available: Coordinates, Profile and Volume. The Coordinates tab includes the following information:

  • Table with coordinates for each vertex of the polygon;
  • Perimeter, 2D (Altitude value is not used for calculation);
  • Perimeter, 3D;
  • Area, 2D;
  • Area, fitted 2D;
  • Coordinate system used in the project.

Area 2D and Perimeter 2D values are calculated using only XY coordinates of the shape vertices, i.e. assuming that the shape lays on XY plane. Perimeter 3D is available only for 3D shapes and considers XYZ coordinates of each vertex. Area, fitted 2D value shows the area covered by the shape on the best fit plane, that is calculated considering XYZ coordinates of the shape.

The Profile tab displays the profile built on a polyline and the length of the polygon in m:

On the Volume tab it is possible to select the preferable Base plane for volume calculation. Options include Best fit plane, Mean level plane, and Custom level plane

Best fit and mean level planes are calculated based on the altitudes of the bounding polygon vertices. Volume measured against custom level plane allows tracing volume changes for the same area in the course of time. The Level is set by the user in the corresponding boxVolume is calculated Above set level and Below set level, also Total volume value is calculated according to the following formula: 

Total volume = Volume above - absolute value of the Volume below

To save information from each tab, use the Save button, that is available on each tab separately.

Polyline measurement

Draw a polygon on the area you are interested in and select the Measure command from the context menu:

For the polyline in the Measure Shape dialog window the Coordinates and Profile tabs are available. The Coordinates tab displays information about the polyline vertices, the values for Perimeter 2D, Perimeter 3D and information about the Coordinate System:

The Profile tab displays the profile built on the polyline and the length of the profile in meters:

To save information from each tab, use the Save button on the corresponding tab.

Point measurement

The Measure... command is also available for the point from the point context menu. The Measure Shape dialog window displays information about the coordinates of the selected point and the coordinate system.

To save information about point coordinate use the Save button.