Read .las or .laz files

Reads .las or .laz files into an object of class LAS. If several files are read at once the returned LAS object is considered as one LAS file. The optional parameters enable the user to save a substantial amount of memory by choosing to load only the attributes or points of interest. The LAS formats 1.1 to 1.4 are supported. Point Data Record Format 0,1,2,3,5,6,7,8 are supported.

readLAS(files, select = "*", filter = "")

characters. Path(s) to one or several a file(s). Can also be a LAScatalog object.


character. Read only attributes of interest to save memory (see details).


character. Read only points of interest to save memory (see details).


Select: the 'select' argument specifies the data that will actually be loaded. For example, 'xyzia' means that the x, y, and z coordinates, the intensity and the scan angle will be loaded. The supported entries are t - gpstime, a - scan angle, i - intensity, n - number of returns, r - return number, c - classification, s - synthetic flag, k - keypoint flag, w - withheld flag, o - overlap flag (format 6+), u - user data, p - point source ID, e - edge of flight line flag, d - direction of scan flag, R - red channel of RGB color, G - green channel of RGB color, B - blue channel of RGB color, N - near-infrared channel. C - scanner channel (format 6+). Also numbers from 1 to 9 for the extra bytes data numbers 1 to 9. 0 enables all extra bytes to be loaded and '*' is the wildcard that enables everything to be loaded from the LAS file. Note that x, y, z are implicit and always loaded. 'xyzia' is equivalent to 'ia'. Filter: the 'filter' argument allows filtering of the point cloud while reading files. This is much more efficient than lasfilter in many ways. If the desired filters are known before reading the file, the internal filters should always be preferred. The available filters are those from LASlib and can be found by running the following command: rlas:::lasfilterusage(). (see also rlas::read.las)


A LAS object

  • readLAS
LASfile <- system.file("extdata", "Megaplot.laz", package="lidR")
las = readLAS(LASfile)
las = readLAS(LASfile, select = "xyz")
las = readLAS(LASfile, select = "xyzi", filter = "-keep_first")
las = readLAS(LASfile, select = "xyziar", filter = "-keep_first -drop_z_below 0")

# Negation of attributes is also possible (all except intensity and angle)
las = readLAS(LASfile, select = "* -i -a")
# }
Documentation reproduced from package lidR, version 2.1.4, License: GPL-3

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