I have LAZ data and need to convert it to las format.......

56496
13
12-03-2013 04:55 PM
MelissaRoesner
New Contributor
I downloaded data from Noaa that is in .LAZ format.  I need to convert it to .LAS format.  I have the lastools toolbox and have looked through the tools and not had much luck yet.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to get these files converted?  Thanks
0 Kudos
13 Replies
brucesimonson
New Contributor III
I downloaded data from Noaa that is in .LAZ format.  I need to convert it to .LAS format.  I have the lastools toolbox and have looked through the tools and not had much luck yet.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to get these files converted?  Thanks


Simplest thing would be to go to the www.laszip.org site, and download the zip files for the executables there.  This is a very fine toolset; you can find versions for "drag and drop" on the desktop (i.e., drag a LAZ file onto the laszip icon, and it will make a LAS version, and vice versa), or, command line forms executable from batch files or unix shells.

To get started, I would go to this page:

http://www.laszip.org/

and look about halfway down, where you will find a paragraph heading called "Background".  In the middle of the second paragraph, you will find a link to the executable laszip.exe.  To check this software out, just click on this file, to download it into a working directory of your choice.  Then, put one of your LAZ files into this directory, and get into a DOS window, and type

laszip yourfile.laz

and it should create a version called yourfile.las

There are many command switches in the laszip.exe executable.  Takes a while to get used to them and to figure them out, but you can filter by elevation, return number, return type, and other parameters.  Also, you can export to a variety of formats, including ascii, shapefiles, and more.

The way to get the switches in the command line version, is standard, i.e.,

lazip -h

(for help).

This is very good software.  I use it extensively, particularly in batch mode (unix shells) to work with very large LiDAR datasets.  Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.  If you really like it, you may want to purchase the developer's full software suite (I haven't); the tool described above is a free product.  Do check out the developer's site, at http://rapidlasso.com/ as well.  Good stuff.  I don't know Martin Isenberg, nor he me. 

Good luck,
-Bruce

PS:  After you get done trying it out, and you like it, I recommend copying the executable (laszip.exe) into a stable directory, and add this directory in your path.  That way, you can use the tool without having a copy in your working directory, or referencing the directory where the executable is located when you want to use it.

PPS:  Oh yeah, what's the point?  The LAZ zipped format is far more sophisticated than just a regular old ZIP file, and the compression size is something around 10%.  Saves heaps of space on your disk drives.  It's worth reading Martin's paper, on his website, to see how smart this software really is.
0 Kudos
MelissaRoesner
New Contributor
After converting the files to .las should they show up in arcCatalog?  Also how do you get .las files into a map?  Sorry for all the questions, I have never used las files before.
0 Kudos
PeterVersteeg
Occasional Contributor II

In the download there are arcgis toolboxes and in the LAStools.tbx there is a arcscript laszip that wil also unzip to las

gr Peter

0 Kudos
JonDouglas
New Contributor III

would be wise for ESRI to consider enabling direct import of LAZ dataset into a LAS dataset. Data size is much more manageable. Extra conversion with zLAS seems like a re-invented wheel that doesnt work as well as LAZ

BruceHarold
Esri Regular Contributor

Data Interoperability extension can convert LAZ to LAS Dataset.

Regards

0 Kudos
MattWilkie3
Occasional Contributor II

There is an Idea asking Esri to add a LAZ driver, please go vote it up:

Support LAZ format 

MattWilkie1
Occasional Contributor II

Some days it's hard not to be cynical. The geonet forums have posts going back to at least 2013, but somehow the "Support LAZ format" idea has been pulled.

0 Kudos
BrianWilson
Occasional Contributor II

Has anyone tried PDAL yet? (See pdal.io webside) It seems like it might be a reasonable compromise.

I want to keep lidar source data in the format in which I download it (LAZ) and I want to produce products from it (typically contours, hillshades). These days I seem to do 90% of my GIS work in Python scripts so a workflow that can do that would be ideal for me--  I would preprocess in a PDAL tool chain to produce an intermediate product (a DEM) and then do the remaining processing in ArcGIS.

The rapidlasso guy is always going on about the evils of closed source but he's producing closed source... the option he gives me is the ability to move from LAZ to LAS, requiring massive disk space then to manage LAS. 

I'd be fine with using a tool chain that's all ESRI as long as it does not require converting terabytes of data from LAZ to LAS to zLAS as the first step. I already voted for the LAZ support idea.

0 Kudos