Point Cloud Surfaces

A point cloud is a huge bunch of 3D points, usually collected by laser scanner or LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). In a geographic information system, or GIS, point clouds are often used as a source for a digital elevation model (DEM). The technology has gotten less expensive and more accurate over the last few years, allowing LiDAR to quickly take over from traditional methods of collecting photogrammetry data.

Let Point Clouds Reign!

Point clouds in many formats can be imported to Civil 3D. The most common format is the LAS file. This binary format is a public format and at minimum contains X, Y, and Z data. LAS data can also include the following:

  • Coordinate system of scanned area.
  • Color; true color on RGB format. ...

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