Convert LAS (Conversion)—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation (2023)

Summary

Converts .las, .zlas, and .laz files between different LAS compression methods, file versions, and point record formats.

Usage

  • This tool can convert lidar data stored in the LAS format or the ZLAS and LAZ compressions. The output files can also be created in a different .las file version and point record format that support a larger set of classification codes and flags. For example, a file created under the 1.1 version with point record format 0 can be updated to the 1.4 version with point record format 6, but a version 1.4 file cannot be converted to an older version. Attributes from the input .las files that are not supported in the output point format will be lost.

  • Many .las, .zlas, and .laz files store the points in a manner that does not correspond with the spatial distribution of the data, resulting in a degraded display and analysis performance when reading the relatively scattered point records in a given spatial extent. The magnitude of this performance impact is worsened by the size of the file being read, such that a large file with scattered records will take longer to process than a smaller file. It is recommended that you create the output files using the LAS Options parameter's Rearrange Points option so that the binary records are stored in spatial clusters that are optimized for data access, as this will usually improve performance. Rearranging points will extend this tool's overall processing time, as an intermediate .las file is created in the process, but the long-term advantages typically outweigh its one-time impact during file creation. The rearranged state of the data is also preserved in the .las file header and communicated in the .las file properties on the LAS dataset properties dialog box.

  • If the classification information of the data being converted will need to be updated in the future, ensure that the output files are created as uncompressed .las files, as they are the only files whose classification codes and flags can be modified.

Parameters

LabelExplanationData Type

Input LAS

The .las, .zlas, or .laz files that will be converted. Multiple files can be processed by specifying the folder containing the files or a LAS dataset.

Layer File; LAS Dataset Layer; Folder; File

Target Folder

The existing folder to which the output files will be written.

Folder

File Version

(Optional)

Specifies the file version that will be used for the output files.

  • Same As InputThe output file version will be the same as the input. This is the default.
  • 1.0The base version for the LAS format that supported 256 class codes will be used.
  • 1.1The output file version will be 1.1. Class codes were reduced to 32, but support for classification flags was added.
  • 1.2The output file version will be 1.2. Support for red-green-blue (RGB) color channels and GPS time was added.
  • 1.3The output file version will be 1.3. Storage of lidar waveform data for point record formats that are not supported in the ArcGIS platform was added.
  • 1.4 The output file version will be 1.4. Support for coordinate system definition using Well Known Text (WKT) convention, 256 class codes, up to 15 discrete returns per pulse, higher precision scan angle, and overlap classification flag was added.
String

Point Format

(Optional)

Specifies the point record format that will be used for the output files. The available options will vary based on the output LAS format file version.

  • 0The base type for storing discrete LAS points that supports attributes such as lidar intensity, return values, scan angle, scan direction, and edge of flight line will be used.
  • 1GPS time is added to the attributes supported in point format 0, which will be used.
  • 2RGB values are added to the attributes supported in point format 0, which will be used.
  • 3RGB values and GPS time are added to the attributes supported in point format 0, which will be used.
  • 6The preferred base type for storing discrete LAS points in LAS file version 1.4 will be used.
  • 7RGB values are added to the attributes supported in point format 6, which will be used.
  • 8RGB and near-infrared values are added to the attributes supported in point format 6, which will be used.
String

Compression

(Optional)

Specifies whether the output files will be stored in a compressed or uncompressed format.

  • No CompressionOutput files will be in the uncompressed LAS format (*.las). This format supports edits to classification codes and flags. This is the default.
  • zLAS CompressionOutput files will be compressed in the zLAS format (*.zlas).
  • LAZ CompressionOutput files will be compressed in the LAZ format (*.laz).
String

LAS Options

(Optional)

Specifies modifications that will be made to the output files that will reduce their size and improve their performance in display and analysis.

  • Rearrange PointsPoints will be rearranged to improve display and analysis performance. Statistics will be automatically computed during this process. This is the default.
  • Remove Variable Length RecordsVariable-length records that are added after the header as well as the points records of each file will be removed.
  • Remove Extra BytesExtra bytes that may be present with each point from the input file will be removed.
String

Output LAS Dataset

(Optional)

The output LAS dataset referencing the newly created .las files.

LAS Dataset

Define Input Coordinate System

(Optional)

Specifies how the coordinate system of each input file will be defined.

  • No LAS FilesThe coordinate system of each input file will be defined by the information in its header. Any file that lacks spatial reference information will be treated as having an unknown coordinate system. This is the default.
  • All LAS FilesThe coordinate system of each input file will be defined by the Input Coordinate System parameter.
  • LAS Files with No Spatial ReferenceThe coordinate system of any input file that does not have spatial reference information in its header will be defined by the Input Coordinate System parameter.
  • No LAS FilesThe coordinate system of each input file will be defined by the information in its header. Any file that lacks spatial reference information will be treated as having an unknown coordinate system. This is the default.
  • All LAS FilesThe coordinate system of each input file will be defined by the in_coordinate_system parameter.
  • LAS Files with No Spatial ReferenceThe coordinate system of any input file that does not have spatial reference information in its header will be defined by the in_coordinate_system parameter.
String

Input Coordinate System

(Optional)

The coordinate system that will be used to define the spatial reference of some or all input files based on the selection made in the Define Input Coordinate System parameter.

Coordinate System
arcpy.conversion.ConvertLas(in_las, target_folder, {file_version}, {point_format}, {compression}, {las_options}, {out_las_dataset}, {define_coordinate_system}, {in_coordinate_system})
NameExplanationData Type

in_las

The .las, .zlas, or .laz files that will be converted. Multiple files can be processed by specifying the folder containing the files or a LAS dataset.

Layer File; LAS Dataset Layer; Folder; File

target_folder

The existing folder to which the output files will be written.

Folder

file_version

(Optional)

Specifies the file version that will be used for the output files.

  • SAME_AS_INPUTThe output file version will be the same as the input. This is the default.
  • 1.0The base version for the LAS format that supported 256 class codes will be used.
  • 1.1The output file version will be 1.1. Class codes were reduced to 32, but support for classification flags was added.
  • 1.2The output file version will be 1.2. Support for red-green-blue (RGB) color channels and GPS time was added.
  • 1.3The output file version will be 1.3. Storage of lidar waveform data for point record formats that are not supported in the ArcGIS platform was added.
  • 1.4 The output file version will be 1.4. Support for coordinate system definition using Well Known Text (WKT) convention, 256 class codes, up to 15 discrete returns per pulse, higher precision scan angle, and overlap classification flag was added.
String

point_format

(Optional)

Specifies the point record format that will be used for the output files. The available options will vary based on the output LAS format file version.

  • 0The base type for storing discrete LAS points that supports attributes such as lidar intensity, return values, scan angle, scan direction, and edge of flight line will be used.
  • 1GPS time is added to the attributes supported in point format 0, which will be used.
  • 2RGB values are added to the attributes supported in point format 0, which will be used.
  • 3RGB values and GPS time are added to the attributes supported in point format 0, which will be used.
  • 6The preferred base type for storing discrete LAS points in LAS file version 1.4 will be used.
  • 7RGB values are added to the attributes supported in point format 6, which will be used.
  • 8RGB and near-infrared values are added to the attributes supported in point format 6, which will be used.
String

compression

(Optional)

Specifies whether the output files will be stored in a compressed or uncompressed format.

  • NO_COMPRESSIONOutput files will be in the uncompressed LAS format (*.las). This format supports edits to classification codes and flags. This is the default.
  • ZLASOutput files will be compressed in the zLAS format (*.zlas).
  • LAZOutput files will be compressed in the LAZ format (*.laz).
String

las_options

[las_options,...]

(Optional)

Specifies modifications that will be made to the output files that will reduce their size and improve their performance in display and analysis.

  • REARRANGE_POINTSPoints will be rearranged to improve display and analysis performance. Statistics will be automatically computed during this process. This is the default.
  • REMOVE_VLRVariable-length records that are added after the header as well as the points records of each file will be removed.
  • REMOVE_EXTRA_BYTESExtra bytes that may be present with each point from the input file will be removed.
String

out_las_dataset

(Optional)

The output LAS dataset referencing the newly created .las files.

LAS Dataset

define_coordinate_system

(Optional)

Specifies how the coordinate system of each input file will be defined.

  • NO_FILESThe coordinate system of each input file will be defined by the information in its header. Any file that lacks spatial reference information will be treated as having an unknown coordinate system. This is the default.
  • ALL_FILESThe coordinate system of each input file will be defined by the in_coordinate_system parameter.
  • FILES_MISSING_PROJECTIONThe coordinate system of any input file that does not have spatial reference information in its header will be defined by the in_coordinate_system parameter.
String

in_coordinate_system

(Optional)

The coordinate system that will be used to define the spatial reference of some or all input files based on the selection made in the define_coordinate_system parameter.

Coordinate System

Code sample

ConvertLas example 1 (Python window)

The following sample demonstrates the use of this tool in the Python window.

import arcpyarcpy.conversion.ConvertLas('2014_survey.zlas', '2014_unclassified_collection', '1.4', 7, 'NO_COMPRESSION', ['REMOVE_VLR', 'REMOVE_EXTRA_BYTES', 'REARRANGE_POINTS'], '2014_unclassified_collection/2014_Survey_Collection.lasd')

Environments

Current Workspace, Scratch Workspace

Licensing information

  • Basic: Requires Spatial Analyst or 3D Analyst
  • Standard: Yes
  • Advanced: Yes

Related topics

  • An overview of the Point Cloud toolset
  • Find a geoprocessing tool
  • Create Point Cloud Scene Layer Content
  • Use lidar in ArcGIS Pro
  • Create LAS Dataset
  • LAS To Multipoint
  • Point File Information

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