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How To: Open LAZ files in ArcGIS Pro

Summary

With the release of ArcGIS Pro 2.1, lidar data in ZLAS and LAZ file format can be displayed in a map by creating a point cloud scene layer package using the Create Scene Layer Package tool. The created point cloud scene layer can be published as a service layer and uploaded to ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online using the Share Package tool.

However, unlike LAS files, LAZ files cannot be opened or added directly to ArcGIS Pro to display the point cloud data on the map. The spatial ETL tool must be used to convert the LAZ file to a LAS file and the output can be added directly to ArcGIS Pro.

Procedure

The following steps describe how to create a spatial ETL tool and convert an LAZ file to LAS using an ETL tool to enable opening the LAS data directly in ArcGIS Pro.

Note:
A Data Interoperability license is required to create the spatial ETL tool.
  1. Create a spatial ETL tool in a toolbox.
    1. In the Catalog pane, right-click a toolbox > New > Spatial ETL Tool.
    2. In the Tool Properties dialog box, define a Name and Label, and use the default FMW file in the Workspace parameter. Click OK.

      An image of the Tool Properties dialog box.
      The Generate Workspace dialog box is launched.
  2. Configure the spatial ETL tool parameters in the Generate Workspace dialog box to convert the LAZ file to a LAS file.
    1. In the Reader section, click More Formats to open the FME Reader Gallery dialog box.
    2. Select ASPRS Lidar Data Exchange Format (LAS), and click OK.
    3. For the Dataset, click the browse button, browse to the LAZ file, and click Open.
    4. In the Writer section, click More Formats to open the FME Writer Gallery dialog box.
    5. Select ASPRS Lidar Data Exchange Format (LAS), and click OK.
    6. For the Dataset, click the browse button to specify a folder for the output LAS file.

      An image of the Generate Workspace dialog box.
    7. Click OK. A workbench opens with a diagram of the created dataflow.
  3. Click the Run Translation An image of the Run Translation button. button to convert the LAZ file to a LAS file. The Translation Log window is opened. The translation log displays 'Translation was SUCCESSFUL' if the translation process succeeds.

    An image of the Workbench with a successful translation.
    A LAS file is created with the extension .las and it is located in the output folder specified in Step 2(f).
  4. To display the converted LAS data in the map, click Add Data in the Layer group located in the Map tab, browse to the LAS file, and click OK. Refer to Use an individual LAS or ZLAS file for information on using an individual LAS file in ArcGIS Pro.

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