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    How do I use LIDAR data / I can't open the LIDAR files I download?

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    LIDAR data is a technical dataset and will need specialist Geographic Information System (GIS) software in order to open it.

    If you do not already have GIS software then you may wish to consider using QGIS, which is free to download and there is plenty of documentation available on the internet -https://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html

    More information can be found in these external links:

    More information including useful links to blogs on how to use LIDAR data can be found here:

    https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/753ad2ebd3554fa696885b8c366c3049 

     If you just wish to view images of the data, you can do this via the “preview on map” feature for each composite layer at https://data.gov.uk/search?q=LIDAR+Composite 

     

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    • Avatar
      Peter Roberts

      I have clicked on the link to just view the data, then tried every link on the subsequent page(s) but I still can't view the data. Also tried using polygon and downloading etc, but couldn't get that to work. I am usually OK with this kind of stuff. Do you have any chat or helpline?

    • Avatar
      Ella Fotheringham

      Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your question ,apologies for the delay in responding,if you are still experiencing issues please submit your question using the "report an issue" form and a member of the technical team will be able to assist you.

    • Avatar
      andy

      In the past I could download your lidar as ASC tiles & then make a DTM in Civil3D, now your supplying it as one big TIFF raster which is no good to me, why?

    • Avatar
      Ella Fotheringham

      Many Thanks for your question. We have just released the 2019 1m and 2m DTM Composite which, as you note, is supplied in 5km GeoTiff tiles rather than ASCII Grid. GeoTIFF is a modern GIS format widely used for delivering elevation data and was chosen due to its open standards and highly efficient data storage. Data volumes for example are on average 5x smaller, enabling faster download over internet and easier storage. Storing the data in GeoTiff also enables us to start to deliver more services over the web such as Image Services and WCS services so users can interact directly with the elevations in a browser. The old ASCII format meant we were limited to what we could offer. Moving to GeoTiff format also aligns the Composite product to our National Full Coverage Programme which have been delivered in GeoTIff for 18 months. We are in the process of updating our story maps with information about the 2019 Composites and the data formats and services available.

      Although we are not familiar with Civil3D our understanding is that it should be possible to connect to the GeoTiff file. Can we ask which version of Civil3D you are using? There are some forum users asking similar questions here: https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/civil-3d-forum/geo-tiff-image-import/td-p/2536531 and here https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/civil-3d-forum/creating-surface-from-geotiff-dem/td-p/7826894, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCpoXCrUeCQ. GeoTiffs can also be converted into ASCIIs using open source GIS such as QGIS.

      Please let us know how you get on.

    • Avatar
      andy

      thanx, yes it seems C3D can utilise many of your new formats including tiff however when you mention this new 2019 coverage programme can you explain all the different data sets like first return DSM & intensity etc. Will you be phasing out this old stuff when programme finished?

    • Avatar
      Ella Fotheringham

      All the information you need is in the story map: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/753ad2ebd3554fa696885b8c366c3049
      As for phasing out ASCIIs, yes, in the next few months the historic archives will be gradually updated with geotiff versions (in metres).
      Hope this helps.

    • Avatar
      George Shuttleworth

      I am disappointed that the ASCI files are no longer available to download.I used to open the ASCI file as a CSV file within a spreadsheet and then add the co-ordinates. I found it extremely useful to look at the data within a simple spreadsheet. We then also wrote a LISP programme to plot a grid of levels within an AUTOCAD file which was very useful and now will not work. We will need a re-think with the TIFF files but for me it appears to be a backward step. Is there any way we can still access the old ASC files?

    • Avatar
      Ella Fotheringham

      Hi George,
      With the 2019 release we have changed our data format from ASCII to GeoTiffs. These GeoTIff files are supplied in 5km tiles with elevations in metres. GeoTIFF is a modern GIS format widely used for delivering elevation data and was chosen due to its open standards and highly efficient data storage. Data volumes are on average 5x smaller, enabling faster download over internet and more manageable storage. Storing the data in GeoTiff also enables us to start to deliver more services over the web such as Image Services and WCS services. These services provide APIs for users view the data directly in a browser, or bring the data directly into desktop GIS and perform geoprocessing analysis on it. The old ASCII format meant we were limited to what we could offer. Moving to GeoTiff format also aligns the Composite product to our National LIDAR Programme products.

      You can convert to ACSII using QGIS or gdal_translate this would get your LISP programme working again.

      The vast majority of software’s including QGIS, ArcGIS, GRASS & AutoCAD Civil3D are able to open a GeoTiff file in the same way as the previous ASCII file. If you do experience any issues we have put together some links on converting between file formats on the Blogs and Guides section of our storymap :https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/753ad2ebd3554fa696885b8c366c3049
      This is a straightforward conversion process in GIS software or can be achieved with a few lines of code.

      I hope this helps
      Ella Fotheringham
      Environment Agency