LIDAR Point Cloud Sources

Best sources for free LIDAR point clouds (probably LAS or LAZ format):

US Interagency Elevation Inventory:   https://coast.noaa.gov/inventory/

For MICRODEM, the data must be in UTM or geographic coordinates.  There are options to reproject with MICRODEM, liblas, or lastools.

Source and directions Web site Notes
OpenTopography  http://www.opentopography.org/  
NOAA Coastal Lidar Graphical: http://coast.noaa.gov/dataviewer/?# (Flash required)
Projects list: http://coast.noaa.gov/dataviewer/?dataregistry/#/coastallidar
Getting lots of data
Some surveys may penetrate water; others only coastal strips of land.  For many areas several dates are available, showing temporal change.
USGS Earth Explorer http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/ To see coverage on selection map, click on rightmost button in the data set listing.  Recommend downloading a KML outline, opening in Google Earth, and downloading from there.    These do not come with projection information in the file, so get the metatdata.  At least some are UTM, while others are state plane.

Importing the region desired from a KML or shapefile can be helpful.  You must have logged in for these to work.

Must be logged in to see the bulk download option.


Must add results to bulk download one screen (10 files) at a time, using the checkbox under Result Controls.

Then view cart, checkout, and wait for email to start bulk download (which might have institutional permission issues, and should be done at home).

There appears to be a limit of 100 files; you might have to create multiple orders.  You should be parsimonious is what you select, as even 100 tiles can be a 25 GB download.  In addition, the 100 files you set will have an interesting spatial pattern, making it hard to fill in the holes later.
USGS Coastal http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/lsrm/data/products_year.html  
Status of state mapping https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Lidar_Dataset_(United_States) Countries with good national lidar: Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, UK, Wales

Problems with ftp data download?  Your network might view these downloads as a security risk.

Other sites

LVIS: http://lvis.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.php

Commercial LIDAR clearing house:


last revision  11/14/2017