I've been asked by a client to compile LiDAR files (currently in GeoTiff format) into a LAS dataset.

Is this possible within QGIS?

I have downloaded LAStools, but I'm still fairly new to LiDAR so I'm not sure what all the tools do!

I know this is possible in ArcGIS, but I don't currently have access to the software. I see a lot of questions already asked concerning opening LAS files in QGIS, but here I am wanting to convert TIFFs into LAS format.

I don't have the raw data - I only have asc files from which I've made the GeoTiffs from.

  • 2
    Why? That is the wrong way to do it, LAS files get converted into GeoTIFF not the other way around. The raw Lidar data should be in LAS, where is the raw data? Dec 11, 2017 at 11:04
  • I don't have the raw data - I only have asc files from which I've made the GeoTiffs from.
    – E Forsyth
    Dec 11, 2017 at 16:04
  • Possible duplicate: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/139642/…. May 3, 2018 at 22:00

2 Answers 2


PDAL can convert any GDAL-readable raster to LAS or any other point cloud format it can write using the readers.gdal stage. PDAL is available on Windows via OSGeo4W in addition to Linux, OSX, and Docker.

pdal translate in_data.asc output.las --reader gdal

Heikki's point about whether or not it makes much sense to do this still stands. With PDAL's reader, you're only going to get an X, Y, Z -attributed point cloud, it is going to be discritized to a regular grid, and it will not have any multi-return information in it.

  • I had to specify a name for the band read from the raster, e.g. --readers.gdal.header="z". Else the resulting las/laz had all 0 for the z values. Jan 31, 2022 at 17:36

You cannot convert geotiff to las, however, LASTools las2las allows converting ASCII (.asc) format files to las format (source). For example:

las2las -i in_data.asc -o out_data.las

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