Importing a .dwg of map data, which is then impossibly difficult to find

Newbie here, having some serious trouble. I’m importing a .dwg file of map data (terrain contours, from the website which is coming out incredibly small in Rhino. I want to be able to bring it onto the cplane alongside a model I have, which is something like 50cm x 50cm, so I can scale it to match. It should be noted that the file is incredibly tiny when opened in Illustrator too, unless it’s set to fit the artboard. Can anyone help me?

If it’s terrain data, it’s probably in meters (if you’re anywhere outside of the US) or in feet… Have you tried opening a new blank file in meters (or feet) and importing the file just by itself then measuring something in the file to see if the distances make sense?

Terrain files are also often geolocalized, which means they can be very far from the origin when opened in Rhino.


How do I measure things? (This is how new I am). Also I imported my model which should be around 0.5m to 1m by something similar, and it dwarfs the square of terrain.

Additional problem, the curves of the square of terrain are all exploded vertically in a stack. How can I correct this?

Alex, are you trying to create a model of a building or structure and set it on 3D terrain. Are you trying to work in “model size” rather than “full size”, as if you were building a physical model?

From the Analyze menu choose “Distance” and click on two points to measure the distance (use object snaps). The distance is reported on the command line.

Something is wrong with the scaling or units of one or the other of the files then.

This is normal, many terrain data sources are in 3D - in fact very helpful most of the time. If you want to flatten everything anyway, select all in Top view and choose Transform>Project to CPlane.