libLAS - LAS 1.0/1.1/1.2 ASPRS LiDAR data translation toolset¶
libLAS is a C/C++ library for reading and writing the very common LAS LiDAR format. The ASPRS LAS format is a sequential binary file format used to store data from LiDAR sensors and by LiDAR processing software for data interchange and archival. See Features for more details on what libLAS can provide a LiDAR software developer. See Getting Started with libLAS for how to get started using the library.
libLAS supports the ASPRS LAS format specification versions: 1.0, 1.1, 1.2.
libLAS’ initial development was supported in 2007-2008 by the IGSB of the Iowa DNR for use in its state-wide LIDAR project. Later support for libLAS was provided by a number of organizations including the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.
As of 2018, libLAS has been replaced by the PDAL project and it is in hibernation or maintenance mode. libLAS does not provide support for LAS or LAZ 1.4, which PDAL does. PDAL also provides support for many more formats, the notion of PDAL pipelines, Python support, and has packages for OSGeo4W, Docker/Ubuntu/Alpine, and OSX Homebrew. Additionally, libLAS’ Python capabilities are much better expressed by the pure-Python laspy http://laspy.org library, and if manipulating LAS data in Python is your ultimate desire, use that instead of libLAS.
In short, if you are starting fresh, start with PDAL.