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libLAS is a C/C++ library for reading and writing the very common LAS LiDAR format. The ASPRS LAS format is a sequential binary format used to store data from LiDAR sensors and by LiDAR processing software for data interchange and archival. See Features for more details on what libLAS can provide a LiDAR software developer. See Getting Started with libLAS for how to get started using the library.
libLAS’ initial development was supported in 2007-2008 by the IGSB of the Iowa DNR for use in its state-wide LIDAR project. Ongoing support for libLAS is provided by a number of organizations including the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.
As of 2014, libLAS has been almost entirely superceded by Martin Isenburg‘s LASlib library. The only functionality that libLAS provides over LASlib is the ability to work with GDAL-derived coordinate system information and reproject into infrequently-used coordinate systems. Additionally, libLAS’ Python capabilities are much better expressed by the pure-Python laspy http://laspy.org library, and if manipulating LAS data in Python is your ultimate desire, use that instead of libLAS.