Viewing LAS Point Cloud in ArcGIS

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The LAS point cloud data deliverable that comes with every DroneDeploy mission is available to all customers subscribed to the Individual, Advanced, Teams, and Enterprise Plans. This file can be utilized in several GIS software such as ArcGIS.

In this guide, we will learn how to export the Point Cloud in a LAS file type from DroneDeploy into ArcGIS.

LAS file into AutoCAD Civil 3D
Please review our guide to import the LAS file into AutoCAD Civil 3D here.

Export and Download the LAS file from DroneDeploy

  1. Select the Map you wish to import from the DroneDeploy dashboard. Select Export in the bottom left:

  1. Choose Point Cloud as your layer, and then LIDAR data exchange (.las) as the file type.

  1. Enter any additional email addresses to receive the exported map.

  2. Choose a Map Projection. DroneDeploy supports most EPSG codes listed on

  3. Choose a resolution. The default resolution is the maximum number of points, however, you can choose to lower this resolution to create smaller file sizes.

  4. Finish by clicking Export to submit your request. After a few minutes, your requested data will be waiting in your email' inbox!

Now that you have your data:

  • Upon receipt of your exported files in your email inbox, click the download link to get a zipped file containing your data. When prompted, save the file to your computer.
  • Locate the downloaded files on your computer. Using the file extraction method of your choice, extract the dataset from the zipped file.

Once the data has been exported and downloaded to your computer, it is time to open ArcGIS.

Importing Point Cloud File into ArcScene

In order to import the LAS file into ArcGIS, it’s necessary to create a LAS Dataset file (.lasd). A LAS dataset allows you to store a reference to one or more LAS files, and easily read it in its native format. Please review more information regarding the LAS Dataset in ArcGIS here.

  1. Open ArcScene, which allows you to work in a 3D environment, and start a new project.

  2. Open the ArcToolbox window by clicking on the ArcToolbox window icon on the standard toolbar:

  1. Within ArcToolbox, go to Data Management Tools > LAS Dataset and select Create LAS Dataset.

  1. In the Create LAS Dataset window, Click on Input Files to choose the LAS file path. Also, choose for a location to store the LAS Dataset (.lasd) that you are about to create by clicking on Output LAS Dataset File.

Additionally, It is highly recommended checking the Compute Statistics box. In this specific example, we are excluding the calculation of statistics to rapidly access the point cloud and avoid the time required for completing the calculations.

Once all the parameters are completed, click OK.

The .lasd file will be added automatically to your workspace. If not, please click on the Add Data icon to import the point cloud file. Simply select the file path to the .lasd file and select OK.

The .lasd file should be displayed on your work space and you should see something like this:

  1. The point cloud file can be rendering or coloring using the LAS Dataset menu. To activate this menu, right-click somewhere on the gray toolbar and select LAS Dataset.

The LAS Dataset menu will be added to your workspace and it will look like this:

You can symbolize your point cloud as you wish. In this example, we will use RGB option to give a natural coloring to the point cloud.

Congratulations! You have displayed your LAS file in ArcGIS.

ArcGIS documentation
For further information regarding the use of ArcGIS, please review the ArcGIS Desktop documentation [here](

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