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Award-winning software for efficient LiDAR processing (with LASzip)


Tools to process LiDAR data files. The data files has the ASPRS LAS format (version 1.0-1.4) or the losslessly compressed, but otherwise identical twin, the LAZ format. See the table below to see what tools and converters are provided.

LAStools consist of different parts:

  • LASlib, the low level processing API.
  • LASzip, the compressing/decompressing API. Both parts are for free and open source.
  • LAStools toolset. Additional tools, based on LASlib and LASzip to process LiDAR data. Some of the tools are also free to use. Some of them are licensed.

All code is written in ultra-light-weight, very efficient and superfast C++.

LAStools are a collection of highly-efficient, scriptable tools with multi-core batching that process LAS, compressed LAZ, Terrasolid BIN, ESRI Shapefiles (SHP), ASCII and others.

You find the open-source part in .\LASlib and .\LASzip The documentation is placed at .\bin

Open source tools:

  • las2las extracts last returns, clips, subsamples, translates, etc ...
  • las2txt turns LAS into human-readable and easy-to-parse ASCII
  • lasindex creates a spatial index LAX file for fast spatial queries
  • lasinfo prints out a quick overview of the contents of a LAS file
  • lasmerge merges several LAS or LAZ files into a single LAS or LAZ file
  • lasprecision analyses the actual precision of the LIDAR points
  • laszip powerful, lossless LiDAR compressor that turns large LAS files into much smaller LAZ files that are only 7 - 20 percent of the original file size
  • txt2las converts LIDAR data from ASCII text to binary LAS format

Closed source tools:

  • las2dem rasters (via a TIN) into elevation/slope/intensity/rgb DEMs
  • las2iso extracts, optionally simplified, elevation contours
  • las2shp turns binary LAS into ESRI's Shapefile format
  • las2tin triangulates the points of a LAS file into a TIN
  • lasboundary extracts a boundary polygon that encloses the points
  • lascanopy computes many raster and plot metrics for forestry applications
  • lasclassify finds buildings and the vegetation above the ground
  • lasclip clips points against building footprints / swath boundaries
  • lascolor colors the LAS points based on ortho imagery in TIF format
  • lascontrol quality checks elevations for a list of control points
  • lascopy copies ttributes using the GPS-time stamp and the return number
  • lasdatum transforms rom one horizontal datum to another
  • lasdistance classifies,flags, or removes points based on distance from polygonal segments
  • lasduplicate removes duplicate points (with identical x and y, z optional)
  • lasgrid grids onto min/max/avg/std elevation, intensity, or counter rasters
  • lasground extracts the bare-earth by classifying all ground points
  • lasground_new an improved version of lasground for complex terrains
  • lasheight computes for each point its height above the ground
  • lasnoise flags r removes noise points in LAS/LAZ/BIN/ASCII files
  • lasoptimize optimizes ata for better compression and spatial coherency
  • lasoverage finds he "overage" of a airborne collect that get covered by multiple flightline
  • lasoverlap checks overlap & vertical/horizontal alignment of flight lines
  • lasplanes finds planar patches in terrestrial, mobile, (airborne?) scans
  • lasprecision reads IDAR data in the LAS format and computes statistics about precision "advertised" in the header
  • lasprobe probes he elevation of a LIDAR for a given x and y location
  • laspublish do D visualization of LiDAR data in a web browser using the WebGL Potree
  • lasreturn reports eometric return statistics and repairs 'number of returns' field based on GPS times
  • lassort sorts points by gps_time, point_source, or into spatial proximity
  • lassplit splits points of LAS file(s) into flightlines or other criteria
  • lasthin thins lowest / highest / random LAS points via a grid
  • lastile tiles huge amounts of LAS points into square tiles
  • lastool is an old GUI for multiple LAStools (now each tool has its own GUI)
  • lastrack classifies LiDAR point based on distance from a trajectory
  • lasvalidate determine f LAS files are conform to the ASPRS LAS specifications
  • lasvdatum transforms iDAR from ellipsoidal to orthometric elevations using a grid
  • lasview visualizes a LAS file with a simple OpenGL viewer
  • lasvoxel computes voxelization of points
  • e572las extracts the points from the E57 format and stores them as LAS/LAZ files
  • shp2las turns an ESRI's Shapefile into binary LAS

BLAST extension

  • blast2dem rasters like las2dem but with streaming TINs for billions of points.
  • blast2iso contours like las2iso but with streaming TINs for billions of points.


For Windows all binaries are included in the download file. All open source tools can be compiled from the source code. For MSVC6.0 there is a project file. For Linux and MacOS the makefiles are included. Simply go into the root directory and run 'make':

The binary download contain the ArcGIS toolbox in .\LAStools\ArcGIS_toolbox and the QGIS toolbox in .\LAStools\QGIS_toolbox. A few example DOS batch scripts can be found in the .\LAStools\example_batch_scripts directory.

  1. unzip
  2. cd LAStools/
  3. make


Full windows binary download at Linux binaries on request.


Please read the LICENSE.txt file for information on the legal use and licensing of LAStools. I would also really like it if you would send me an email and tell me what you use LAStools for and what features and improvements you could need.

(c) 2007-2022 -