When referring to topographic data, we are primarily interested in the elevation or contour data. You might have topographic maps somewhere (either hardcopy or digitally) or you might have had someone complete a survey and provide you with elevations. If you would like to use an already created .dwg file that contains contour lines, you can skip to the next step. However, if you don’t have a recent map or survey, one really easy and quick way to get topographic data is from a platform called Equator. If you are trying Equator for the first time, use the code at the bottom of this article to get free access.
In Equator, simply zoom into your project location or use the Search button, then select + New Site button located at the bottom left of your screen. You can keep your site limits as the rectangle shown or you can select the Edit Site Bounds button to create the exact limits of your project site (Figure 1).
Once you have created your site boundaries, you will need to select the data associated with your site. For this example, we will be selecting the Contours Sources: LiDAR, DSM | DWG option, which is under the Data menu (Figure 2). Contours are one of a variety of elevation data products provided in the Equator platform.