Importing data into AutoCAD Civil 3D

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Part of putting your drone to work is having the right data for analysis. DroneDeploy allows you to export your data quickly from cloud to your desktop for integration with third-party software.

This guide covers how to import into AutoCAD Civil 3D the GeoTIFF, contours DXF and point cloud LAS files exported from DroneDeploy. Additionally, we will cover how to overlay the DXF file on top of the GeoTIFF resulting in a bold, data-rich display to share with your stakeholders.

Export Data from DroneDeploy

Select the map you wish to export from the DroneDeploy dashboard and follow the steps described in our Exporting Your Data guide for a full walkthrough the export process.

For this guide, we have downloaded the elevation GeoTIFF, the contours DXF file, and the point cloud LAS.

Data Export Formats
Please visit our [Data Export Formats]( support documentation to check the file formats that are available to export on your DroneDeploy subscription.

Importing data into AutoCAD Civil 3D

  1. Open AutoCAD Civil 3D.
    Note: This specific guide has been created using AutoCAD Civil 3D (2019), please note that the following steps could not work with other versions of Civil 3D

  2. First, let's open the DXF file by clicking on the Open icon at the top of the window and navigate to the folder that contains the DXF file. Make sure that under Files Of Type you have selected the DXF (.dxf)* option. Click "Open" to confirm:

Open the DXF file

  1. To zoom into the DXF file attached, you can type ZOOM in the command line and type E to zoom to the file extent:

Zoom into the file extent

Display the DXF contour file

  1. Now, let's import the TIFF file. To do so, type MAPIINSERT in the command line and select the TIFF file downloaded from DroneDeploy:

Insert the TIFF image

To ensure that the TIFF opens in the correct coordinate system, please make sure that the "**Modify Correlation**" box in unchecked before opening the TIFF file
  1. Once the TIFF file has been imported, we can adjust the files settings to correctly display the DXF file on top of the TIFF file:
  • Select the TIFF image. The Image tab will be activated.
  • Click on the Background Transparency to change the background of the images.
  • Once the TIFF is selected, right-click somewhere on the images > hover over the Display Order and select Send to Back.

Adjust setting to correctly overlay the DXF on top of the TIFF file

  1. Congratulations! You now have the overlayed contours file on top of your elevation model in AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Overlaid map

  1. Viewing the Point Cloud file:
    AutoCAD Civil 3D is compatible with RCP (.rcp) or RCS (.rcs) point cloud formats. To learn how to convert the LAS file exported from DroneDeploy to RCP using Autodesk Recap, please visit our guide Importing Point Cloud into Recap.

Once you have the RCP file, within Civil 3D go to the Insert tab and click the Attach button located in the Point Cloud section.

Make sure that while importing the point cloud, the checkbox “Specify on-screen” is unchecked to allow the point cloud to be imported using the defined coordinate system.

Import RCP Point Cloud into AutoCAD

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