Earthworks Work Orders Command

D_EarthworksWorkorders_600ppi   Earthworks Work Orders

Command Licensing and Default Menu Location

  • The Earthworks Work Orders command is part of the RPS Tool Shed Toolbox
  • The command is located on the Tool Shed macros menu ribbon
  • The command is located in the Earthworks menu group

Command Description

The RPS Earthworks Website is a system designed for private cloud and corporate network deployment where public internet data storage and transmission is limited or prohibited. The system has been jointly developed by Trimble and Rockpile Solutions for specific customer deployments in certain market regions and applications e.g. Mining, Africa and China. It can be licensed only by prior approval by both Trimble and Rockpile Solutions.

The Earthworks Work Orders command manages the creation of Work Orders (Tasks / Jobs) from TBC data that are used as the basis of reporting and tracking earthworks quantities in Cut/Fill, Grading or Backfill and Capping operations. A work order comprises the existing surface (the start point), the design surface (the target condition) and an optional capping surface (a secondary target condition) along with associated work order boundary. The command also allows for the selection and upload of periodic survey surfaces collected by drone flights, terrestrial or mobile scans or traditional topographic survey methods to supplement the data being collected by GCS900 machines.

The command provides the ability to track and manage the work orders created on a project over time. The system is designed for single site, long duration operation e.g. Mines, Landfills, Quarries or Large Construction Projects.

Command Interface Description

The Earthworks Work Orders command depends on a connection to the RPS Earthworks system. In order to make the connection to the Earthworks system, you will first need to set up your login credentials for the system using RPS Settings. If you have not already done this, you will be warned as the command starts. The RPS Settings command can be accessed from the Tool Shed menu, or it can be accessed using the icon in the header bar of the Earthworks Work Orders command.


RPS Settings Set Up

For more information about other RPS Settings Click Here

The setup of the Earthworks login credentials is managed by the Earthworks Settings option within the RPS Settings dialog.

User name:
Enter your RPS Earthworks System User Name. If you do not know what your username is or if you do not have a login setup yet, contact your RPS Earthworks System administrator.

Enter your RPS Earthworks System Organization Name. If you do not know what your Organization Name is or if you do not have a login setup yet, contact your RPS Earthworks System administrator.

Enter your RPS Earthworks System Password. If you do not know what your Password is or if you do not have a login setup yet, contact your RPS Earthworks System administrator.

Verify Credentials button:
When you have entered your User Name, Organization Name and Password click the Verify credentials button to test the connection. Once you have connected to the system you can select the Earthworks Project that you wish to work with - typically most organizations will just have one project to choose from. The project is geofenced in the system to limit its geographical extents, however those extents are typically many times the size of the project definition footprint.

Only show work orders created with this TBC project checkbox:
When this checkbox is enabled, you will only see Work Orders in the Work Orders list that were created by / from the currently active TBC project i.e. Work Orders created from other TBC projects will not be displayed. We recommend this is enabled because the source data for Work Order surfaces and boundaries will not be available in the current TBC project for work orders created in other TBC projects.

Work orders that have been created on the RPS Earthworks system will always be visible in any TBC project, until they have been modified by a TBC project e.g. by uploading surfaces and boundaries etc. to the Work Order - at which time the work order is now referenced to the TBC project that modified the work order.

Note: You can create data for the RPS Earthworks system from any number of TBC projects. Each work order has an internal reference to the project and project path from which it was derived.

Show archived work orders checkbox:
When this checkbox is enabled, work orders that have been set to archive and hide in RPS Earthworks system will be made visible in the TBC work orders list.

The Earthworks Work Orders command dialog has two tabs as follows

Work Orders Tab

Surveyed Surfaces Tab

Work Orders Tab

The work orders tab provides the management tools to create, upload and manage work orders for the project over time.

Type filter:
There are three types of Work Orders currently supported by the RPS Earthworks System.

The type of Work Order dictates the type of information that you will select and upload to create the Work Order.

The Type Filter allows you to limit the Work Order list to show just the types of work order defined by the filter.

The Type options are as follows:

  • Back-fill - in this type of Work Order you will select a Start Date, an Existing Surface, a Design Surface and an optional Capping Surface with a boundary to limit the area of computations relating to this task.

  • Cut/Fill - in this type of Work Order you will select a Start Date, an Existing Surface and a Design Surface with a boundary to limit the area of computations relating to this task.

  • Grading - in this type of Work Order you will select a Start Date, an Existing Surface and a Design Surface with a boundary to limit the area of computations relating to this task.

While Cut / Fill and Grading Work Orders request the same type of information, the difference between them is the type of operation. A Grading work order is designed for trimming or haul road improvement type tasks. A Cut/Fill work order is a mass earthworks task e.g. the construction of a new haul road, a new storage area, a new plant construction area etc. The difference is simply to enable filtering and reporting differences.

Status filter:
Work Orders when they are created are given an initial status. That status will change as the work order is started, executed, completed, reviewed and signed off / approved etc.

The Status filter allows a second level of filtering to be applied to the Work Order list, that will limit the work orders shown to the filter(s) being applied.

The Status options are as follows (listed in alphabetical order):

  • All

  • Approved

  • Canceled

  • Completed

  • In Design

  • In Progress

  • Needs Approval

  • Not Scheduled

  • Scheduled

In practice a Work Order will progress through the status types as follows

In Design
Not Scheduled
In Progress
Needs Approval

The logic of the process is as follows

  • A manager can define a Work Order in the Earthworks system, or the Work Order can be created by the modelers / surveyors using TBC.
  • A manager may have a conceptual Work Order which will need a design - so they create a Work Order and set it to status “In Design” where it can sit in an unscheduled state awaiting for design completion.
  • Once the Design is completed, the Work Order can be populated with the existing and design information. Once the design is defined, the work order can then be “Scheduled”.
  • Once the work order is started and the first data arrives from the machines, the work order status will change to “In Progress”, this change can also be manually adjusted by a manager. At the point where the Work Order moves to In Progress, the “time clock” is started. The time clock tracks the duration of the Work Order, compares actual time consumed with planned time and is used to compute production metrics based on volumes moved and time elapsed which can be comparted with planned production rates during the task execution.
  • At the end of field operations, the work order results can be reviewed by the work order team / project manager and then if considered “good” can be set to “Needs Approval”.
  • The work order will then be reviewed by the approving manager who can sign off on the project and set it to “Approved” status.
  • After any final documentation processes or secondary reviews, the Work Order can be set to “Completed” status

Work Order List:
The work order list is populated from the Work Orders already created and present in the RPS Earthworks system.

Filtering the work order list:
The work order list can be filtered using the Type filter and the Status filter.

Sorting the work order list:
The list can be sorted by clicking on the header of each column.

The work order list shows the list of work orders that meet the filter criteria with the Work Order ID, Work Order Title, Type of Work Order and Work Order Status.

Create work order button:
To create a new Work Order click the Create work order button. The following Create Work Order dialog will open


Enter the Work Order Title, a Description of the work order and your Plan Reference Information.

Allow updating “in progress” work orders checkbox:
If you need to update Work Order Existing, Target / Design, Capping or Boundary information after the Work Order has been moved to In Progress or later status, check this checkbox to allow that to happen. The default behavior is to have a “soft barrier” to limit inadvertent changes to In Progress Work Orders.


When you have a Work Order highlighted in the Work Order list, and enable the checkbox, the Work Order Surfaces and Boundary selectors become active allowing you to make changes as needed. When the checkbox is disabled, you can see but not change any of the Work Order surfaces or Boundary information.

Work Order surfaces list:
The Work order surfaces list shows the surfaces used in the Work Order for the Existing, Design and Capping surfaces. For each surface it shows the type of surface (Initial or Target) the upload date and if it has been modified the last modified date (in this way you can tell whether or not the surface has been changed since it was uploaded to the RPS Earthworks system.

Work order type:
For each work order that you create or edit, they will have a Work order Type (Backfill, Cut/Fill or Grading) which dictates the information required by the work order in terms of surfaces and boundaries.

Select the boundary that you wish to use to constrain the work order computations. Work Order computations are bound by geographic area (the boundary), and a time range based on the date at which the work order was set to In Progress and the time at which it was completed. All activities within the selected boundary within the selected date and time range are considered to be a part of that Work Order. Work Orders can overlap, but the information in the overlap areas will be used to compute progress and productivity information for both tasks.

The starting surface is the surface that is present at the start of the work order process. We have used the word “starting” vs “existing” because the starting point may not be what is considered as existing terrain i.e. Existing is normally used for the conditions prior to the project or operation start, whereas Starting is the surface as it is when the task starts for the area to be covered by the task.

The design surface is the surface that will be constructed through execution of the work order. In the backfill work orders, the design surface is the final earthworks surface prior to a capping layer being placed as a secondary process.

The capping surface is a surface that is only selected for Backfill work orders. The capping material is placed on top of the Design surface as a secondary process captured within the same work order. It is assumed that the Design surface is the starting surface for the capping process.

Upload surface information button:
Once the work order type, surfaces and boundary have been defined, click this button to upload the information to the RPS Earthworks system. The boundary will be used to clip the uploaded surfaces to limit them to the area of the Work Order.

Closes the Earthworks Work Order manager command. If you need to also upload Surveyed Surfaces, switch to the Surveyed Surfaces tab.

Surveyed Surfaces Tab

The surveyed surfaces tab provides the ability to create, upload and manage surveyed surfaces for the project over time. While a surveyed surface may take several hours to measure, the surface is given a specific date and time of submission. The date and time provided is the point at which it is inserted into the production model for the project.

Typically, for the best and most accurate results, we recommend that survey surfaces be created either out of operation hours for the project or over areas that are not being actively worked by machines during the survey period wherever possible (i.e. when the machines are not operational).

However, if that cannot be achieved then you need to decide when you insert the survey surface into the model. Bear in mind, that if for example you fly the entire site, it may take several hours of survey to capture the information. You could choose to insert the survey surface at the start of the survey period, the end of the survey period or at some point during e.g. the middle of the survey period.

When included in production computations, the date and time at which the survey surface is inserted will become the latest elevation information in the production model at all locations covered by the surveyed surface. The first pass that any machine makes over any part of the surveyed surface after that date and time will update the production model at those locations. This can cause minor discrepancies in the model where machines are updating the production model in the area covered by the surveyed surfaces during the survey process. These are rapidly corrected as the machines gradually cover the surveyed surface areas affected by in survey machine activity.

Select the TBC surface from the surfaces list that you wish to upload to the production model.

Date surveyed - Select a date:
Select the date from the calendar selector for the point at which you want to insert the surveyed surface.

Upload surveyed surface:
Click the upload surveyed surface button to transfer the surveyed surface to the RPS Earthworks system.

Click close once you have uploaded all of your survey surfaces. You can also click the Work Orders tab to return to creating and managing Work Orders.

Images Tab

The images tab dialog looks as follows

TBC will be used to import aerial imagery in the form of .ecw files that are created in the North Azimuth coordinate system. You will use the transformation process to convert the images from North Azimuth to South Azimuth coordinate system, before capturing the images using this command to upload them to the CIS Earthworks system as a Map Layer.

The images created will be georeferenced images in either PNG (transparency supported) or JPG (no transparency supported). The files created will also include a PGW or JGW world file and a KML file that makes the images compatible with Google Earth and the CIS Earthworks system. The individual files are created in the TBC Project’s folder and a zip file containing the three files is created to upload a package to the CIS Earthworks system.

The image capture process can also be used to capture other types of visuals for use in the CIS Earthworks system including Georeferenced Plans, Cut Fill Maps, Schematic Mine Plans and Overlays etc.

Image name:

Enter the name of the image that you wish to create - this is used to create the image files and the zip file for the CIS Earthworks system.

Image date:

Select the image date from the calendar pop up accessed using the calendar icon

Create transparent image checkbox:

If you check this checkbox, the image created will be a .PNG file image data set that supports transparency (a white background or black background will be converted as transparent pixels. If you leave this unchecked then the image will be generated as a JPG file image data set that has no transparency - the white or black background will be passed as white or black pixels.


We recommend that you use a Plotbox to define the area for the image to be created. A plotbox in TBC is a rectangular area that has a plottable size in terms of a width and height at a defined scale to cover a geographic area. For example you may define the plot scale as 5000 scale (1:5000) and a width of 1200mm and a height of 900mm. These parameters will create a box on screen that is 6000m x 4500m. The plot box has properties that can be adjusted including these values if you decide that you need to cover a larger or smaller area. The plotbox once created has CAD Grips that you can use to move it on screen into its final position.

For a South Azimuth project by default a Plotbox will be rotated 180 degrees and will have its origin in the top right hand corner of the plotbox. To move a plotbox you can use the CTRL key plus the grip in the top right hand corner. To resize a plotbox change the Height, Width or Scale properties of the plotbox.

When the image is created, the command reviews the plotbox size and scale as well as the image type selected for the output and computes the best DPI resolution for the image output automatically to maximize the quality of the image within the constraints of the image formats supported. If you find that the image resolution is insufficient for your needs, then you may need to create multiple images from multiple plotboxes for a single image data set to achieve the desired results. The Map layer control in CIS Earthworks system supports one or multiple images in a data set as needed to handle this requirement. In our tests from the provided imagery, the command delivers high quality images for the entire site images provided using this approach.

The maximum image resolution for a PNG or JPG type output file is 15000 pixels along the longest axis of the plotbox. The length of the plotbox in inches / 15000 will give the DPI setting for the resulting image. so if the plotbox is 1000mm wide (39.37") then the DPI will be 15000/39.37 = 381 DPI.

You can create Plotboxes for the site once and then use them over and over for each set of images that you process, you do not need to create new plotboxes for each set of imagery. You can also resize the plotboxes as needed for each image set being processed - once the images have been created there is no long term link between the images and the plotbox.

We recommend defining a single plotbox over an area that is likely to cover all operations on the site for the foreseeable future and using that same plotbox to generate all image outputs for the CIS Earthworks system. A DPI greater than 300 DPI should provide good resolution imagery for CIS Earthworks purposes. Having a single plotbox with the same corner locations used over and over for each survey image you want to upload, will provide good consistency of location for all images that you load into the system.


You can select one of four resolutions for the image creation process

  • Full is the maximum resolution possible based on the size of the plotbox defined and the maximum number of pixels allowed in the image which is 15000 pixels in either the X or Y direction of the image.
  • High is 75% of the maximum resolution
  • Medium is 50% of the maximum resolution
  • Low is 25% of the maximum resolution
    If you are having issues with graphics memory on your computer, or the ability to upload the full resolution imagery use this option to dial down the resolution / image size and try again.

Below is an example output of the same area at the different resolutions - you can see that 25, 50, 75 and 100% at a zoomed in area of a building look as follows.

While the 100% image (on the right) is the sharpest, a 25% resolution image (on the left) is a fraction of the size and is going to be faster to create, faster to upload and will be easier to create on lightweight computers than the full resolution image. the 25% image is ~19mb, the 50% is 70Mb, the 75% is 145mb and the 100% is 226mb in file size. When zoomed out to a large area of the project, you can barely tell the difference between the images.

Save Image button:

Click this button to create the image. Note that the image is created using TBC graphics elements that fall within the selected plotbox area, so if you only want the image data in the image created you should turn off all other data. If you want to capture Cut Fill Maps or PDF Drawings that have been georeferenced or any other georeferenced schematic of the mine, turn on those objects prior to clicking Save Image.

The saved images will be shown in the list of images. Each image has the name, the date of the image and the date that the image was created by TBC and then the date that the image was uploaded as a Map Layer to the CIS Earthworks system.

If you double click on an image in the list of images it will open the image in your windows image viewer (whatever viewer is associated with the file type of the image selected).

Map Layers

The second step is to upload the created images to the CIS Earthworks system. The Map Layers of the CIS Earthworks System have a data structure including the following elements. Images are uploaded to the Sub Layer level of the data structure.


The Folder is the top level name for a group of layers and sub layers that will be created. For Aerial Images you may have a folder called Aerial Images - 2021 or Aerial Images - 2022 for example.


The Layer is the second level in the data structure. For Aerial images you may have a Layer called January 2021 for example.

Sub Layer:

The Sub Layer is the third level in the data structure and is the location that you will upload the image(s) to. You can load a single or multiple images at the sub layer level. Once loaded. the images can be turned on and off as a Layer or at the Sub Layer level - so if you loaded 4 images covering the entire site in the NW,NE,SW and SE quadrants of the site, you could turn off each months survey images or just individual images e.g. the NE and SE quadrants if all you wanted to see were the NW and SW quadrants for that months survey etc.

In the Map Layers area of the dialog, you can right click in the Map Layers area and open a context dialog to create a New Folder. New Layer or New Sub Layer. Remember that you have to create a Sub Layer for the images to be uploaded. The tree of Folders, Layers and Sub Layers can be expanded and collapsed to expose the tree levels required.

Upload Image button:

To upload an image, first select the image in the images list, then select the sub layer that you wish to place the image on and then click Upload Image to complete the process.


The image upload or image creation process is tracked and the process success or failure is displayed in the Results pane.

Command Tips:

The command tips provide hints to you as a user on how to use the command where tips are useful. The tips are supplemented by pressing the F1 key to access this help document and video.

Video Demonstration

The following video shows how to utilize the Work Orders tab of the Earthworks Work Orders command

The following video shows you how to use the Surveyed Surfaces tab of the Earthworks Work Orders command

The following video shows you how to use the Images tab of the Earthworks Work Order command

Feedback and Enhancement Requests

If you would like to provide feedback on the use of the Earthworks Work Orders command or to request enhancements or improvements to the command please Click Reply below