Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Manage Point Clouds in AutoCAD Map 3D

Source: http://www.cadalyst.com

Use new tools to access, stylize, and filter 3D laser scanning and LiDAR data.
By Michael Schlosser

AutoCAD Map 3D 2011 is the latest version of Autodesk's software for creating and managing CAD and spatial data. My favorite features of this release include the new point cloud tools for viewing, querying, and analyzing 3D laser scanning and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data sets.
LiDAR is a system for collecting topographic information whereby laser-equipped aircraft collect points in three dimensions, creating data sets known as point clouds. These point clouds are then used to locate topographic features, define feature geometries, and create 3D surfaces.


Point clouds often contain hundreds of millions of points and can be difficult to work with using traditional AutoCAD methods.However, the new Point Cloud Manager in AutoCAD Map 3D 2011 is designed to handle large numbers of points and enhances the ability to use these large LiDAR data sets. Plus, with AutoCAD Map 3D we have the additional benefit of being able to assign a geographic coordinate system so that we can use these point clouds in a geographic context with design information and other geospatial data sources.
In this article, I'll explain how to use the new point cloud tools in AutoCAD Map 3D 2011 to access, stylize, and filter a LiDAR point cloud corresponding to a municipal downtown area. I will also show how to use point clouds to first create a 3D surface, and then analyze the results. Read more »
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Michael Schlosser is an Autodesk technical specialist.

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