I have many ASCII files containing LiDAR xyz values. In order to create an ArcGIS LASD file, I need to convert these ASCII files into las files. I can do this with FME or LAStools, but I can't see a way in ArcGIS.

Does anyone know if this is possible in ArcGIS Desktop 10.3.x?


3 Answers 3


I don't believe there's an option to convert any file format to LAS within ArcGIS, out of the box.

You can support this idea (there are also additional suggestions on the page): https://geonet.esri.com/ideas/4809


Workaround for creating a stripped down LAS file:

  1. Create XYZ fields on point file.
  2. Populate X field via update geometry. Repeat for Y and Z.
  3. Create ascii file (generate format). Requires 3D Analyst/Feature Class Z to ASCII.
  4. Import XYZ fields to LAS.

Alternatively, Data Management Tools/Features/Add XY Coordinates will create and populate XYZ fields to singularly process steps A and B.

  • Thank you for your work around. I think I will keep using FME. I really wanted to keep my workflow in ArcGIS so that all my colleagues could use the same method, but this looks unlikely. Feb 3, 2017 at 20:21

I do not think ArcGIS should be your software of choice for producing proper LAS files because Esri added support for LiDAR very late and was not a contributing partner of the LAS community.

Although ArcGIS can now consume LAS files and generate a number of derivatives, I would advise you to stick with LiDAR softwares that are specialized in producing specification-compliant LAS or LAZ files. There are many ways one can get this wrong and generate less-than-optimal LAS files.

If you insist on doing it within ArcGIS then you could have a look at our LAStools toolbox for ArcGIS and the free and open source 'txt2las' tool.

Disclaimer: I am the developer of LAStools.

  • 2
    Only the third paragraph here really comes close to answering the question, the rest seems to be personal opinion/bias (as per your last line). As you appear to be promoting your own product here, please edit your answer to include disclosure of your affiliation with the product (see help center), and I'd suggest removing the opinion and focus on answering the question
    – Midavalo
    Feb 26, 2017 at 1:04

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