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Measure scenes

The measure tools allow you to measure distances between two points and calculate areas in your scene. When you click the Measure distance tool Measure distance or Measure area tool Measure area within Scene tools Scene tools, horizontal laser lines are projected on the terrain and objects in the scene. This shows the vertical height of the pointer in the scene as you measure. It is helpful to see the heights of objects relative to other objects and the terrain. For example, you can hover over a smaller building and see that height highlighted relative to another part of the terrain.

Measure distance

Use the Measure distance tool Measure distance to calculate the distance between two points in a scene. Scene Viewer labels the direct, horizontal, and vertical distance lines in the scene and displays the values in the panel.

  • Direct—Distance between two points
  • Horizontal—Horizontal distance between two points
  • Vertical—Vertical distance between two points

While you are measuring, a second laser line indicates where the vertical plane along the checkered line intersects the terrain in all directions, such as with buildings, bridges, and the ground.

To measure distance, do the following:

  1. Click Scene tools Scene tools to access the measure tools.
  2. Click Measure distance Measure distance.
  3. Click in the scene to start measuring.
  4. Click to set the endpoint.
  5. Click New Measurement to start a new measurement.

When the distance between the points is greater than 100 kilometers, the measurement visualization is simplified and Scene Viewer calculates only the horizontal and vertical distances. The Direct distance option is unavailable.

Measure area

Use the Measure area tool Measure area to calculate the area of a polygon you draw. The Measure area tool labels the area and the total length of the perimeter. These values also appear in the panel.

  • Area—Area of the polygon
  • Perimeter—Perimeter length of the polygon

To measure area, do the following:

  1. Click Scene tools Scene tools to access the measure tools.
  2. Click Measure area Measure area.
  3. Click in the scene to start adding points to the polygon.
  4. Double-click to close the path and calculate the polygon area. Alternatively, click the starting point again to close the path.

    The area may be visualized and calculated in one of the following ways:

    • If all vertices align onto a single plane (either horizontal or sloped), the area is calculated relative to this plane.
    • If the vertices have varying z-values and they create a nonplanar surface, the visualization and the measurements show the area that is projected to a horizontal plane.
  5. Click New Measurement to start a new measurement.


When the polygon perimeter is greater than 100 kilometers, the measurement visualization is simplified.

Adjust measurements

To adjust either the Measure distance Measure distance or Measure area Measure area measurement, hover over a point and drag. As you drag points, Scene Viewer displays the adjusted values in the scene and panel. You can change the unit of measure under Unit.

Press the Ctrl key to temporarily disable snapping to the orange visual cues. Release the Ctrl key to enable snapping again.


  • In local scenes that are in projected coordinate systems (with exception of Web Mercator), the measurements are displayed as Euclidean values.
  • In scenes that are in geographic coordinate systems and in Web Mercator, the measurements are displayed as geodesic values. The exception is when using the area measurement tool and the perimeter is less than 100 kilometers, in which case the measurements are displayed as Euclidean values.
  • Depending on the scene's projected coordinate system, the values may not be accurate.