I'm tying to load a catalog and simply re-export the same tiling, but only with xyz attributes, whatever attributes are found in my original list of LiDAR tiles.

Here the code I use :

ctg <- readLAScatalog(lidar_input_tiles_path, select = "xyz")
opt_select(ctg) <- "xyz" # Duplicate
opt_output_files(ctg) <- "[...]/{ORIGINALFILENAME}"
ctg2 <- catalog_retile(ctg)

It looks like the select option is not taken in account. On the other hand, when I use the readLAS() function on a single file, select parameters are applied.

Am I missing something?

2 Answers 2


Your problem is documented in the man page of catalog_retile. catalog_retile preserves the file format. No way to keep only xyz. The options select is not respected. The reason is that catalog_retile() is a special, memory optimized, function that by-passes regular LAScatalog processing engine behaviour and never calls readLAS() and never loads a single point in R. This allows to retile efficiently big files that do not fit in memory

Supported processing options

Supported processing options for a LAScatalog (in bold). For more details see the LAScatalog engine documentation:

  • chunk_size: Size of the new tiles.
  • buffer: Load new tiles with a buffer. The expected value is usually 0.
  • alignment: Alignment of the new tiles.
  • progress: Displays a progress estimation.
  • output_files*: Mandatory. The new tiles will be written in new files.
  • laz_compression: save las or laz files.
  • select: catalog_retile preserve the file format anyway.
  • filter: Retile and save only the points of interest.

The filter and select options are not modifiable using when processing a collection of files. From the docs:

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  • 1
    They are. But not in all functions.
    – JRR
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 17:53

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