Point Cloud – A point cloud is a set of data points representing 3D shapes or objects in a physical 3D space. They contain the most reliable 3D data possible.
LAS File – .las is a file extension used for the Lidar Data Exchange Format, and is the file format used to store point cloud data. It contains information about each point collected, including x, y, and z coordinates, the classification of the point and the projection.
LAZ File – .laz is a file extension used for compressed lidar data. It is based on the same Lidar Data Exchange Format (LAS) as .las files, but the data is compressed to reduce the file size. This allows lidar data to be stored more efficiently and transferred more quickly.
Some programs do not support LAZ files so these files need to be converted to LAS files prior to use. The next two sections will demonstrate how to convert a LAS file to a LAZ file.