I have a few LiDAR point data (.las files) with me. I would like to read the X,Y and Z from it using .Net. I found liblas, which is in C++ and I am not sure if it can be used commercially after reading the licensing information. Has anyone found any good ones?


libLAS can indeed be used commercially. So can Martin Isenburg's LASlib, which is LGPL, and speaking as the author of libLAS, faster and more completely supported than libLAS. Both are indeed C++ libraries, however, and there isn't too much in the ASPRS LAS space for native .NET.

I'm also the primary author of PDAL, and PDAL can also read ASPRS LAS data, but again, this is C++, not .NET. PDAL is my current project now, and I actively support it in contrast to libLAS, which is in more of a maintenance mode. PDAL's license is also BSD like libLAS', and commercial licensing is not an issue. PDAL can be thought of exactly as its raster data cousin, GDAL, and unlike PCL, it focuses on data format translation and access rather than point cloud exploitation activities. These libraries can be definitely used together, but they are compliments of each other rather than competing visions of LiDAR/point cloud data processing.

Another option you might consider is using https://github.com/grantbrown/laspy which is a pure-python implementation of ASPRS LAS support. You could use this with the .NET port of IronPython and NumPy to get native LAS support on the CLR, though again, it would not be C# per se.

  • 1
    +1..WOW! there cannot be a more Authoritative answer I guess :)
    – vinayan
    Sep 10 '12 at 15:24
  • seems there are no libraries with active .Net support and so marking as answer :)
    – vinayan
    Sep 17 '12 at 16:13

You might want to check out the Point Cloud Library. enter image description here

According to their site:

The Point Cloud Library (PCL) is a standalone, large scale, open project for 2D/3D image and point cloud processing.

PCL is released under the terms of the BSD license, and thus free for commercial and research use. We are financially supported by Open Perception, Willow Garage, NVIDIA, Google, Toyota, Trimble, Urban Robotics, Honda Research Institute, Sandia, Dinast, Ocular Robotics, Velodyne, and MKE.

liblas is licensed under the BSD as well so should be able to use for commercial projects, too.

The Point Data Abstraction Library (PDAL) also looks promising, too. It's not quite .NET but C# bindings will be added in the future. Check the tutorial to get a feel for tools.

  • does this allow direct read/write of .las files?
    – vinayan
    Sep 10 '12 at 12:38
  • According to the forum it's not quite supported yet pcl-users.org/PCL-software-td3580609.html Maybe you could use liblas first and then move on from there? You could also check PDAL.
    – R.K.
    Sep 10 '12 at 14:32

you can use liblas commercially. Read the license terms. You can use for free, as long you provide proper reference and I think its the best tool to process las data.

or LP360 is a plugin for ArcGIS which you can buy. I believe it has some trial period also. So you can try this before you buy it.

Hope it helps.


  • thanks..but I am looking only for which the source is open
    – vinayan
    Sep 10 '12 at 16:34

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