LAS Point Cloud Format

Points clouds are a category of GIS data.  The most common format for exchanging points clouds is LAS. Maintained by ASPRS , the format is currently at https://www.asprs.org/divisions-committees/lidar-division/laser-las-file-format-exchange-activities  (it can be hard to find on the ASPRS website, and hard to be sure you have the most current version).   There are no other comparable formats that I am aware of; and if there were other formats, they would contain essentially the same information.

LAS projects can be very large (many GB are very common, and TB), and benefit greatly from compression and tiling. 

The LAS file contains a number of fields for each point that can be useful for analysis and for display:

The LAS file has a header with metadata about the file.

Lidar data issues


USGS Lidar Specs


Lidar Point Cloud Data Sources

Organizing lidar for use


last revision 2/17/2022