Point Cloud – A point cloud is a set of data points representing 3D shapes or objects in a physical 3D space. They contain the most reliable 3D data possible.
LAS File – .las is a file extension used for the Lidar Data Exchange Format, and is the file format used to store point cloud data. It contains information about each point collected, including x, y, and z coordinates, the classification of the point and the projection.
LAZ File – .laz is a file extension used for compressed lidar data. It is based on the same Lidar Data Exchange Format (LAS) as .las files, but the data is compressed to reduce the file size. This allows lidar data to be stored more efficiently and transferred more quickly.
Some programs do not support LAZ files so these files need to be converted to LAS files prior to use. The next two sections will demonstrate how to convert a LAS file to a LAZ file.
Image of point cloud in Equator, which can be downloaded as a LAZ file
Source LAZ File
If you have hired a drone service to fly your site, you will receive your data in a .laz file. However, if you are looking to scope down your survey or eliminate the cost of buying a drone, we already have great point cloud data here on Equator. Click the button below to see what LiDAR data available for your site.
To download a .laz file from Equator:
- Sign in or create an account with Equator.
- Navigate to the Data tab and turn on Elevation Data.
- Search for your site, then select the +NEW SITE button at the bottom of the screen.
- Edit your site bounds and select okay.
- Navigate to the Data tab and choose ‘Point Cloud’. Choose your parameter and select ‘Generate’.
- Your point cloud is stored in the Layers tab under your site.
- To download, select the download button (down arrow). Choose your parameters and select ‘Process’.
- The .laz file of your site will appear in your Downloads folder (or whichever folder you have directed your downloads to go).
Convert LAZ to LAS
Convert LAZ to LAS using Cloud Compare. Cloud Compare is a free 3D point cloud and mesh processing software that can be used to convert LAZ to LAS files in a few simple steps.
- Launch Cloud Compare
- File > Open, change the file type to .laz or all, and select your .laz file
- Select your .laz file from the DB tree
- Select the floppy disk (save) or File > Save
- Change your file type to LAS Cloud and select save