I was wondering if there is an option to convert LAS (LIDAR data) to raster or GRID format that ArcGIS could read it.
In ArcGIS the workflow for importing LAS is to Import Las to Multipoint (tool of the same name) then create a terrain dataset. You can then use the Terrain to Raster tool if need be. (Required 3D Analyst)
The current option to import las files in ArcGIS is the LAS dataset data type. According to ESRI:
If the surface (raster) you are trying to create is a bare-earth DEM refer to the following posts:
One option is the
Another option for creating DEMs in ArcGis is to use the combination of
Other workflows for creating DEMs from LiDAR data in ArcGIS are described in the post below. It also has insights about aspects which should be taken into consideration, when generating DEMs.
For working on DEMs starting from unclassified .las data I would suggest using more robust algorithms not yet available within the ArcGIS platform. For example:
Another option to import las files in ArcGIS would be to convert them into ASCII (.txt, for example). Unless there is a specific reason for using plain text, previous options are better. The main differences working with .las or ascii files are approached in this post:
So, an alternative would be to use the command line
Suppose the following:
Hint: use an text editor to write Fusion's program commands (e.g. Notepad++). Save it with .bat extension. Then, write:
Retrieve the following information: X, Y and Elevation.
Or if the .las files contain other information such as: Pulse, Return, X, Y, Elevation, Nadir and Intensity:
Save the .bat file, and then execute it (shortcut = F5)
There are also some options if you want to work entirely within ArcGIS. First, you need to make an LAS Dataset. This is basically a dataset with a symbolic link to your LAS files that ArcMap can read. Once you have this, you can filter, investigate, and view your point cloud. To create a DEM or other raster from the LAS data, you then need to use the LAS Dataset To Raster tool. If you want the ground elevations, you MUST make sure you have your LiDAR data filtered to display ONLY ground returns (use the LAS toolbar). If you want some other raster surface, filter your points accordingly. You will have many options, but make sure to use a grid cell size that is appropriate to the point spacing and to the analysis you want to do.
Edit: This is only available in the Advanced/ArcInfo level license.
If you have ArcGIS:
There are tools here.