ASPRS LiDAR Data Exchange Format (LAS) Reader/Writer

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Desktop Professional Edition.

Note: To read and write .lasd files for this format, you will require an ArcGIS license, as well as the Esri ArcGIS 3D Analyst Extension ( The bit version, 32-bit or 64-bit, must be the same for FME and ArcGIS.

The American Society Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) LiDAR (LAS) Reader allows FME to read LiDAR (data exchange format standard) LAS specifications.


The LAS file is intended to contain LiDAR point records. The data will generally be put into this format from software (provided by LiDAR hardware vendors) which combines GPS, IMU, and laser pulse range data to produce X, Y, and Z point data. The intention of the data format is to provide an open format that allows different LiDAR hardware and software tools to output data in a common format.

FME supports LAS versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4.

Limited support for Esri LAS Datasets is available when ArcGIS is present. A LAS Dataset is, in its simplest form, a collection of LAS files.

The format contains binary data consisting of a header block, Variable Length Records (VLRs), and point data.

Note: Reading and writing of arbitrary VLRs is not currently supported; only defined georeferencing information VLRs are supported.

Reader Overview

FME considers a single LAS or LASD (Esri LAS Dataset) file to be a dataset. Each LAS file contains a single FME point cloud feature.

Writer Overview

FME considers a dataset to be a folder name: the value for the Writer Dataset is the path of the output folder where the data will be written.

The feature type of each dataset is the filename.

The LAS writer distinguishes duplicate output files by appending numbers to the filenames.

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