Creating a usable contour map

I have big project that I have flown, it is a civil project and I am trying to find a simple way to clean up the contours after exporting the dxf file. I know that you can use AutoCAD or another ARCGIS, but is there another software or program that is more user friendly?

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Welcome to the forum! The first thing that I will say is the term “user friendly” really depends on how well you learn software but also the fact that all of these softwares take some expertise in the field that they were designed to serve. QGIS and Rhino are great options. Neither of them are very intuitive at the beginning but some practice and watching a few videos will get you through this process. QGIS can use pretty much and of the file types associated with elevations or surfaces. Rhino works with the OBJ but may be able to get what you need with other file types. @SolarBarn is the resident Rhino Guy!


Thank you, If I can get this project complete, I will work on investigating those software, Which would you recommend for a geriatric civil engineer that used to draft with protractor and compass.


I would recommend getting familiar with QGIS. Drone data is essentially GIS data but the ability to combine almost everything drone with GIS and CAD data is pretty powerful. I only know a handful of things because we have other software but I can already see that I could probably do everything with just DroneDeploy and QGIS. It’s not really feasible in our environment because everything is built around the other softwares and it would be rough training everyone to use QGIS to its potential but for a small team I think it is very doable. I’m remember surveying with HP48 calculators and doing takeoffs with a slide rule and I don’t miss it a bit.

What file types can you export? I can probably find you a couple of videos pretty quickly. If you Google “qgis contours from dem” and set the time parameter to within the last year some pretty good stuff will come up.