With AutoCAD LT 2004 running on Microsoft Windows XP Pro, you can copy from the Windows clip-board into AutoCAD. So you need a way to copy the images from their source, to the clip-board.
My only use for this, so far, has been to copy US Geological Survey maps into AutoCAD so that I can use the USGS maps as a base to draw special-purpose maps (showing particular roads, trails, and land-marks). The USGS maps are not copyrighted, so it is legal to use them. I have them on CD-ROMs published by National Geographic, in a program called "TOPO!"
In "TOPO!", I use File > print map, then I select the area that I want to copy, then I use File > copy map. That copies the selected map area onto the Windows clip-board. Then I open a new AutoCAD file, set up a new layer, make it current, and use Edit > paste. That puts the selected part of the USGS map into AutoCAD. Then I set up one or more new layers, choose appropriate color(s), make one of those new layers current, and use "multiple" "point" to make points at appropriate places superimposed on the USGS map. Everything can be zoomed together in order to digitize points with as much detail as needed, up to the resolution limit of the USGS map in the TOPO! program. The USGS map uses a lot of memory, which I don't want in my AutoCAD file, but I have not found a way to erase the layer with the USGS map. So I freeze that layer, copy everything else to the Windows clip-board, set up a new AutoCAD file, and copy from the clip-board into the new AutoCAD file. That preserves the layer characteristics, except for the layer containing the USGS map, which I don't want. The new AutoCAD file uses much less memory than the original AutoCAD file. After I am satisfied with the new map, I delete the original AutoCAD file, and build the special-purpose map around those points in the new AutoCAD file.
An alternative is to print the selected part of the USGS map, or other image, on paper, and use a graphics tablet to digitize points into AutoCAD. But it is much easier, and probably much more accurate, to digitize on the monitor screen rather than on the graphics tablet, and use the zoom function for increased detail where desired.
This requires that the original image be available in computer- readable form. I have not tried to scan an image, and use that as input; I will try that as soon as I can get to a scanner.
If anybody sees a better way to do this, please let me know.
Dick Alvarez alvarez at eskimo dot com