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README

   
libLAS - LAS 1.0/1.1/1.2 ASPRS LiDAR data translation toolset
==============================================================================

libLAS is a C/C++ library for reading and writing ASPRS LAS versions 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 
data.  The LAS format is a sequential binary format used to store data from sensors 
and as intermediate processing storage by some `LiDAR`_-related applications.  

libLAS is available under the terms of the `BSD License`_. It builds on work 
by `Martin Isenburg and Jonathan Shewchuk`_ of the  University of North 
Carolina in their `LAStools`_ project by replacing the base C++ library 
with new development and porting Martin's tools this new code.

libLAS' initial development was supported by the `IGSB`_ of the Iowa DNR 
for use in its state-wide `LIDAR`_ project.


Download
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 1.2.0 version of libLAS can be downloaded from http://liblas.org/wiki/1.2.0

Older releases may be obtained from http://liblas.org/wiki/Releases

Binaries
..............................................................................


Windows binaries of libLAS are provided in two forms.  The easiest form is 
to obtain `OSGeo4W`_ and select the libLAS package to install.  Alternatively, 
you can download a Windows package with full spatial reference support from 
the release page.  GDAL support is only provided with the `OSGeo4W`_ package, however.

Linux, Mac OS X, and Solaris binaries are not provided.  The source code 
uses the standard GNU autotools/automake stack for compilation and installation.


Documentation
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

`LAStools`_ / libLAS Command-line Utilities
..............................................................................

* `lasinfo`_
* `lasmerge`_
* `las2las`_
* `las2txt`_
* `txt2las`_
* `las2ogr`_

Software Development with libLAS
..............................................................................

* `FOSS4G 2008`_ presentation that provides a basic overview of the design and philosophy of libLAS
* `ASPRS Workshop Demo`_ by Jason Woolard of NOAA describing how to use libLAS with Python
* `Tutorials`_ - tutorials on using libLAS from C++, Python and .NET/Mono languages
* `LAS C API`_- doxygen docs that describe the libLAS C API
* `dotnetLibLAS API`_ - docs for the .NET API
* `LAS Doxygen Docs`_ - doxygen docs of the entire C/C++ API
* `LAS Format Elements`_ - comparison of elements of LAS Format 1.0 and 1.1  
* `Software`_ - a list of geospatial software with reading and writing capabilities of LAS Format
* `Resources`_ - a list of general LiDAR/LAS resources

LAS Format Specifications
..............................................................................

The LAS Format Standard is maintained by `ASPRS Standards Committee`_. LAS 
format standard documents are available in PDF format:

* `LAS 1.2 Format Standard`_ (2008-09-02)
* `LAS 1.1 Format Standard`_ (2005-05-07)
* `LAS 1.0 Format Standard`_ (2003-05-09)

License
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

libLAS is available under the terms of the `BSD License`_. 
See `License`_ for a copy.

FAQ
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The FAQ is available from http://liblas.org/wiki/FAQ

Features of libLAS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Open Source
..............................................................................

libLAS is open source software.  You can embed it in your own applications 
(and even resell it) as long as you follow the crediting restriction of the BSD 
license.  See `License`_ for more detail. 

Multiple APIs
..............................................................................

libLAS has C, C++, .NET, and Python APIs.   

Spatial Reference System Support
..............................................................................

Linked against a 1.2.5+ version of `libgeotiff`_, you can set and get the spatial reference 
systems of LAS files using simple `proj.4`_ coordinate system definitions.  
Alternatively, with libLAS 1.2, you can link against `GDAL`_ to be able to 
manipulate spatial references using WKT.

Simple Variable Length Record Abstraction
..............................................................................

libLAS provides a sensible abstraction for working with variable length records (VLR) 
in LAS files, and it transparently manages the VLRs related to spatial referencing 
systems for you.  

Command-line Utilities
..............................................................................

libLAS provides ports of the `LAStools`_ utilities by Martin Isenburg for doing 
things like translating from one version of the LAS format to another, inspecting 
header information, and translating LAS data to and from text.

Cross-platform operation
..............................................................................

libLAS is known to work on all editions of Microsoft Visual C++ 7.1+ (Windows) and 
GCC 4.1+ (Mac OS X and Linux) platforms on both big- and little-endian architectures.


Development
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Authors
..............................................................................

The libLAS development team are:

 * `Howard Butler`_
 * `Mateusz Loskot`_
 * `Phil Vachon`_
 * Martin Vales
 * `Frank Warmerdam`_

Special thanks to `Martin Isenburg and Jonathan Shewchuk`_ for their
`LAStools`_ pioneering implementation of the ASPRS LAS standard that made 
development of the libLAS library possible.

Subversion Tree
..............................................................................

The SVN repository URL is available at http://liblas.org/svn

::

    svn checkout http://liblas.org/svn/trunk/

Information about Trac
..............................................................................

* `Trac <http://trac.edgewall.org/>`_ Open Source Project
* `TracGuide <http://trac.edgewall.org/wiki/TracGuide>`_ - Built-in Documentation
* `TracFaq <http://trac.edgewall.org/wiki/TracFaq>`_ - Frequently Asked Questions
* `TracSupport <http://liblas.org/wiki/TracSupport>`_ - Trac Support
* `reStructuredText Support in Trac <http://bitten.edgewall.org/wiki/WikiRestructuredText>`_


Community
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IRC
..............................................................................

Find the libLAS developers on IRC on #liblas at `Freenode`_.

Mailing Lists
..............................................................................

* liblas-devel - http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/liblas-devel
* liblas-commits - http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/liblas-commits


.. _`LIDAR`: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIDAR
.. _`IGSB`: http://www.igsb.uiowa.edu/
.. _`Martin Isenburg`: http://www.cs.unc.edu/~isenburg/
.. _`LAStools`: http://www.cs.unc.edu/~isenburg/lastools/
.. _`Martin Isenburg and Jonathan Shewchuk`: http://www.cs.unc.edu/~isenburg/lastools/
.. _`LAS Format`: http://www.lasformat.org/
.. _`LAS 1.2 Format Standard`: http://liblas.org/raw-attachment/wiki/WikiStart/asprs_las_format_v12.pdf
.. _`LAS 1.1 Format Standard`: http://liblas.org/raw-attachment/wiki/WikiStart/asprs_las_format_v11.pdf
.. _`LAS 1.0 Format Standard`: http://liblas.org/raw-attachment/wiki/WikiStart/asprs_las_format_v10.pdf
.. _`ASPRS Standards Committee`: http://www.asprs.org/society/committees/standards/lidar_exchange_format.html
.. _`Howard Butler`: http://hobu.biz
.. _`Mateusz Loskot`: http://mateusz.loskot.net
.. _`Phil Vachon`: http://www.geoscan.info
.. _`Frank Warmerdam`: http://home.gdal.org/warmerda/
.. _`BSD license`: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.php
.. _`LAS Format Elements`: http://liblas.org/wiki/LASElements
.. _`Tutorials`: http://liblas.org/wiki/Tutorial
.. _`Software`: http://liblas.org/wiki/Software
.. _`Resources`: http://liblas.org/wiki/Resources
.. _`License`: http://liblas.org/wiki/License
.. _`las2las`: http://liblas.org/browser/trunk/doc/las2las.txt
.. _`las2txt`: http://liblas.org/browser/trunk/doc/las2txt.txt
.. _`lasinfo`: http://liblas.org/browser/trunk/doc/lasinfo.txt
.. _`lasmerge`: http://liblas.org/browser/trunk/doc/lasmerge.txt
.. _`txt2las`: http://liblas.org/browser/trunk/doc/txt2las.txt
.. _`las2ogr`: http://liblas.org/browser/trunk/doc/las2ogr.txt
.. _`Freenode`: http://freenode.net
.. _`Library Design`: http://liblas.org/wiki/LibraryDesign
.. _`FOSS4G 2008`: http://liblas.org/raw-attachment/wiki/WikiStart/liblas_foss4g_2008.pdf
.. _`LAS C API`: http://liblas.org/doxygen/liblas_8h.html
.. _`LAS Doxygen Docs`: http://liblas.org/doxygen/
.. _`How To Release libLAS`: http://liblas.org/wiki/HowToRelease
.. _`libgeotiff`: http://www.remotesensing.org/geotiff/geotiff.html
.. _`7/28/2008`: http://lists.maptools.org/pipermail/geotiff/2008-July/000501.html
.. _`proj.4`: http://proj.maptools.org/
.. _`GDAL`: http://www.gdal.org
.. _`OSGeo4W`: http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_Win32_Installer
.. _`dotnetLibLAS API`: http://liblas.org/wiki/dotnetapi
.. _`FOSS4G 2008`: http://liblas.org/raw-attachment/wiki/WikiStart/liblas_foss4g_2008.pdf
.. _`ASPRS Workshop Demo`: http://liblas.org/raw-attachment/wiki/WikiStart/ASPRS-Workshop-NOAA-Demo.pdf