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Importing LiDAR Data - Basic Workflow

Updated March 04, 2019


This article applies to:
  • Terrain 3D
  • Terrain Forestry
  • RoadEng Civil
  • RoadEng Forestry

Basic workflow for importing and thinning LiDAR data. Please see the other topics in Working with LiDAR for specific tutorial examples.

  • Open the Terrain module
  • In a new, blank Terrain file – press the Insert File button from the Home tab
  • Using the Insert File dialog – browse to find one or more of your LiDAR tiles (.las files), press Open
    • NOTE: You can select multiple files at one
  • The LiDAR import options dialog will open, in this dialog you can:
    • LAS Import Options | Select the class of selection (some files may already coded with ground, vegetation layers etc)
    • Selection | in this initial dialog you have some thinning options – these are not as accurate as the thinning options once the data is imported. Depending on your data set size, you could initially thin the data, decide your region of interest and then re-import it. If you can, import it initially at full resolution and then use the thinning tool (described below).
    • Projection | set up your projection (UTM etc) – this is especially useful if you would like to view anything with Google Earth
    • Rotate/Translate/Scale | most people do not use this on import… but it’s here!
  • To use the new, and accurate surface thinning tool – go to the Terrain Modeling tab, select Simplify
    • In this dialog, we have several new, more accurate methods for thinning your data (excluding specified areas of interest)
  • Generate a TIN – (Terrain Modeling tab) – you can now view your LiDAR in the 3D window
  • To view the 3D view – press the 3D window button in the bottom toolbar (looks like a cube)
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