Loading Large Numbers of LiDAR tiles into LAS Dataset

Blog Post created by GTaylor-esristaff Employee on Aug 20, 2018

At current the Create LAS Dataset and Add Files to LAS dataset geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS Pro have a difficult time reading large numbers on LiDAR tiles on external drives.


Users often keep LiDAR on a seperate SSD drive from their machine's local drives if:

1.) Space is limited on the users machine and/or the entire dataset is too massive to load locally

2.) The user does not have time to wait 3, 4, or even 7 hours + for the data to transfer to the local machine.


Just create and empty las dataset with the create las dataset GP tool and then run the following script to load all files into the LAS Dataset.

import arcpy
import os

inLASDataset = r'C:\MyLASDataset.lasd'
inLASFolder = r'H:\MyLASFolder'
extension = ".zlas"  # ".zlas", ".las"

LASFileString = ""
for file in os.listdir(inLASFolder):
    if file.endswith(extension):
        LASFileString += (";" + os.path.join(inLASFolder, file))

arcpy.AddFilesToLasDataset_management(inLASDataset, r"{0}".format(LASFileString), "NO_RECURSION",

del LASFileString


Depending on the file size the process may take several minutes.

Grab some coffee with the comfort of knowing you don't have to manually load the files in chunks