When reading a las file I'm getting the following error:

> readLAS("/tmp/chunk89/u_6300085100_2015.las")
Error: Invalid data: ScanAngle greater than -180 degrees.
In addition: Warning messages:
1: There are 1091 points flagged 'withheld'. 
2: There are 1091 points flagged 'synthetic'. 

Is there anything that can be done to fix this?

  • What is the source of the point cloud. TLS?
    – JRR
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 1:44
  • No it is ALS, which implies that the scan angle greater than -180 degrees is wrong.
    – Lucas
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 4:17
  • 1
    Be careful you may have a corrupted file.
    – JRR
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


When reading a las file, the content is tested to check if the LAS specifications are respected. You found a case were the verification is a little bit too strict. Scan angle below -180 can be stored up to ±196.608 but are incorrect. You should have a warning instead of an error. This will be improved in rlas. See this issue.

That being said, here some options as workaround

Do not read the scan angle

readLAS("u_6300085100_2015.las", select = "* -a")

While this will solve most of the use cases this won't solve some specific cases such as the use of lasnormalize() with a LAScatalog because all the attributes are loaded. It assumes you do not need the scan angle.

Filter the invalid angles

Just skip the invalid data at read time

readLAS("u_6300085100_2015.las", filter = "-keep_scan_angle -180 180")

This should work with a LAScatalog as well

opt_filter(ctg) <- "-keep_scan_angle -180 180"

It assumes that the bad data correspond only to few weird outliers

Build a LAS object from raw data

You can bypass the use of readLAS(). But this option won't work with a LAScatalog

data <- rlas::read.las("u_6300085100_2015.las")
header <- rlas::read.lasheader("u_6300085100_2015.las")
las <- LAS(data, header, check = FALSE)

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