Question received at MnGeo:
"Is there a way to download the LiDAR data directly to AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013? I would like to download something to be able to make a 3D surface of the LiDAR data. Everything I have been reading seems to suggest that we need ArcGIS."
Answer we provided:
Yes, you can use the LiDAR data in AutoCAD by downloading the .LAS format files. You don't need ArcGIS. For more information, see:1. LAS File Processing Using LASTOOLS:
a handout written by Tim Loesch at the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources.2. Engineering applications workshop materials: http://wrc.umn.edu/randpe/agandwq/tsp/lidar/
developed by Ann Johnson (UM Dept of Civil Engineering), Lea Holter (USDA-NRCS), and Karen Bonde (BWSR).
Description: “Using LiDAR data in AutoCAD, AutoDesk, and Civil 3D. Linking LiDAR and survey data, siting conservation structures, pre-design, stream profiles.”
The materials for this workshop assume that you are already familiar with information presented in the “Basics” module, which is available at the same webpage.
Tim Loesch confirmed that DNR staff who use AutoCAD Civil 3D are consuming the LAS files directly without any processing.
(Note: Others who use LiDAR in AutoCAD Civil 3D are invited to send corrections / additions to the handout to Tim at email@example.com) or to post additional tips on this forum.)