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Martin Isenburg
Martin Isenburg changes in version 181108
Latest commit adfc665 Nov 8, 2018


LASlib (with LASzip) is a C++ programming API for reading / writing LIDAR
data stored in standard LAS or in compressed LAZ format (1.0 - 1.3). Both
libraries - LASlib with LASzip - are released together under the terms of
the GNU Lesser General Public Licence also known as LGPL. See LICENSE.txt
for details.

Internally LASlib includes my stand-alone LASzip compression library that
provides lossless compression for LAS data. This allows you to read or
write *.laz (LASzip compressed *.las files) directly like you would an
uncompressed .las file using the same LASreader and LASwriter classes.

This distribution comes with a small tool called "laszip" or "laszip.exe"
compresses LAS files into much more compact LAZ files and vice versa. The
resulting files are around 7 - 20 percent of their original size without
a single bit being different (i.e. absolutely lossless compression).

LASlib (with LASzip) is easy-to-use, light-weight, yet extremely fast. Just
download it here and you are ready to go. For Windows users "laszip.exe" and
other binary LAStools and a MSVC6.0 project environment are included. For
Linux users there are simple Makefiles.

The best way is get LASlib is to download LAStools, which contains the
full LASlib (with LASzip) distribution:

wget http://www.lastools.org/download/LAStools.zip
unzip LAStools.zip
cd LAStools/


Here is how simple the programming API is:

#include "lasreader.hpp"
#include "laswriter.hpp"

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
  LASreadOpener lasreadopener;
  LASreader* lasreader = lasreadopener.open();

  LASwriteOpener laswriteopener;
  LASwriter* laswriter = laswriteopener.open(&lasreader->header);

  while (lasreader->read_point()) laswriter->write_point(&lasreader->point);

  delete laswriter;

  delete lasreader;

  return 0;


Many LAStools are "free" open source (LGPL). But some of the more powerful
LAStools (i.e. for contour extraction, boundary polygon computation, TIN
generation, DEM creation, thinning, clipping, tiling, sorting, ...) need
a license for commercial and government use. 


(c) 2007-2014 martin.isenburg@rapidlasso.com