Laspy Tutorial

About Laspy

Laspy is a Python library that reads and writes .las files. It is both compatible with Python2 and Python3, and additional information

can be found on the Laspy package homepage.


  • In this tutorial, we will use pip to install Laspy; if you do not have pip installed, install it according to these instructions.

  • Now, type: pip install laspy in your command line / terminal; once the installation has finished, type import laspy in your Python shell to ensure laspy is installed correctly.

Processing .las Files

  • First, lets load our first .las file!

  • Create a python script called, or any other name, and write the following:

  • This opens a .las file called "file.las," and converts in laspy object. We can specify whether we want to read, write, or append the .las file by typing: laspy.file.File(f_name, mode='r'), where "r" can be replaced with "w" or "a," for writing and appending, respectively.

  • Now, lets examine the point cloud data within our .las file. Type:

  • This converts the underlying x, y, z components of our point cloud data into a list of <x¸ y, z> components, represented as a numpy array.

  • Once we have the point cloud data in a numpy array, it can be processed and converted into any other data format.

  • For more complicated features, see the official Laspy tutorial.

Converting .las Files into .out files

  • While .las files are useful, they cannot be read directly by the YURT, so we will have to convert our .las files into .out files.

  • This process can somewhat complex, depending on how much data is in the .las file.

  • In particular, if there is more than 1 GB of point cloud data, we will need to create a buffer to decompose this process. For instance, we will load 100 MB of data into memory, save that data into our .out file, and repeat.

  • The following script provides and example of how to convert a large .las file into a .out file:

  • The source code for this script can be found here.