While importing surface data from Google Earth is probably the easiest way to get some conceptual topographical data into your drawings, DEM’s have to be a close second. For the uninitiated, DEM’s or Digital Elevation Models could be described as a surface whose data is organized in a grid. This is fundamentally different than DTM’s (standard Civil 3D surface) which still stores a collection of points, but in the form of triangles not a structured grid. The great thing about DEM’s is they’re readily available for FREE from a wonderful website named the Geo Community. Now don’t be fooled when you visit the site as you will see all sorts of premium content; never fear as there’s ample data that can be had for free!