Converting LAZ to LAS files

LAZ files are a compressed version of LiDAR data and are often used to transfer large amounts of LiDAR data. In New Brunswick, GeoNB uses this format to provide open source LiDAR data through its website. For ESRI users, LAZ files need to be converted to LAS files before they can be analyzed in ArcGIS. These instructions describe how to covert LAZ files using the open source LASzip tools developed by Martin Isenburg.

  1. Download LASzip: Go to http://www.laszip.org/ and download the exe file located in the Background section (direct download link).
  2. Save the LASzip.exe file to the directory where the LAZ files are located
  3. Using windows command prompt, navigate to where the exe and LAZ files are located
  4. Type: laszip *.laz
  5. All of the LAZ files will now be converted to LAS files and saved in the same directory with the same file name but with the LAS extension
laszip_cmd
Above is a screen shot of navigating to the directory with the LAZ files and laszip.exe, and running the tool to convert all of the LAZ files to LAS files

More detailed instructions are provided by GeoNB and can be found here.

Once you have the LAS files, you can follow these methods to process the files in ArcGIS Pro to create the digital terrain and surface models.

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