lidR v1.0.2


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Airborne LiDAR Data Manipulation and Visualization for Forestry Applications

Airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) interface for data manipulation and visualization. Read/write 'las' and 'laz' files, computation of metrics in area based approach, point filtering, artificial point reduction, classification from geographic data, normalization and other manipulations.


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R package for Airborne LiDAR Data Manipulation and Visualization for Forestry Applications

The lidR package provides functions to read and write .las and .laz files, plot a point cloud, compute metrics using an area-based approach, compute digital canopy models, thin lidar data, manage a catalog of datasets, automatically extract ground inventories, process a set of tiles in multicore, classify data from shapefiles, and provides other tools to manipulate LiDAR data. The lidR package is designed mainly for research purposes using an area-based approach.

lidR provides an open-source and R-based implementation of several classical functions used in software dedicated to LiDAR data manipulation. lidR is flexible because it allows the user to program their own tools and manipulate their own objects in R rather than rely on a set of predefined tools.

Please contact the author for bug reports or feature requests (on github, preferably). I enjoy implementing new features!

  1. Features
  2. Install lidR from github
  3. Some examples
  4. Changelog

Features (not exhaustive)

Install lidR from github

To install the package from github make sure you have a working development environment.

  • Windows: Install Rtools.exe.
  • Mac: Install Xcode from the Mac App Store.
  • Linux: Install the R development package, usually called r-devel or r-base-dev

Install devtools: install.packages("devtools"), then:

devtools::install_github("Jean-Romain/rlas", dependencies=TRUE)
devtools::install_github("Jean-Romain/lidR", dependencies=TRUE)

Some examples

Plot data Compute a simple metric
lidar = readLAS("myfile.las")
metric = grid_metrics(lidar, mean(Z))
Manage a catalog Deal with DTM
ctg = catalog("folder of .las files")
dtm = grid_terrain(lidar)



  • Change: split the package in two parts. 'lidR' rely on 'rlas' to read binary files.

Functions in lidR

Name Description
as.lasmetrics Set the class 'lasmetrics' to a data.frame or a data.table
as.SpatialPixelsDataFrame Transform a 'lasmetrics' object into a SpatialPixelsDataFrame object
as.SpatialPointsDataFrame Transform a LAS object into a SpatialPointsDataFrame object
catalog_select Select LAS files interactively
catalog Build a catalog of las tiles/files
catalog_queries Extract LiDAR data based on a set of coordinates
catalog_index Retrieve the tiles containing ROIs
as.raster.lasmetrics Transform a lasmetrics object into a spatial RasterLayer object
$,LAS-method Extract parts of a LAS object
catalog_apply Apply a function to a set of tiles using several cores.
grid_terrain Digital Terrain Model
grid_canopy Canopy surface model
cloud_metrics Compute metrics for a cloud of points
entropy Normalized Shannon diversity index
LAD Leaf area density
extent,LAS-method Extent
grid_density Pulse density surface model
gap_fraction_profile Gap fraction profile
lasdecimate Thin LiDAR data
grid_metrics Rasterize the space and compute metrics for each cell
plot.lasmetrics3d Plot voxelized LiDAR data
lasfilter Return points with matching conditions
-,LAS,RasterLayer-method Convenient operator to lasnormalize
LAS Create a LAS object
plot3d Plot a wireframe of a RasterLayer object
lidrpalettes Palettes
readLAS Read las or laz files
set.colors Automatic colorization
plot.Catalog Plot a Catalog object
grid_metrics3d Voxelize the space and compute metrics for each voxel
lasscanline Retrieve individual scanline
lasroi Select a region of interest interactively
lasfilters Predefined filters
writeLAS Write a las or laz file
lasclip Clip LiDAR points
VCI Vertical Complexity Index
lasflightline Retrieve individual flightlines
lasnormalize Subtract digital terrain model
lascolor Compute the color from RGB fields
laspulse Retrieve individual pulses
stdmetrics Predefined standard metrics function
lasarea Compute the area covered by of a set a points.
summary.LAS Summary of LAS data
plot.LAS Plot LiDAR data
plot.lasmetrics Plot an object of class lasmetrics in 2D
lasclassify Classify LiDAR points from source data
lasterrain Get the elevation of the ground for given coordinates
LAS-class An S4 class to represent the data read in a .las or .laz file
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