DroneDeploy

Viewing LAS Point Cloud in ArcGIS

The LAS point cloud data deliverable that comes with every DroneDeploy mission is available to all customer subscribed to the Pro, Business and Enterprise Plan. 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 int 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.
  1. Choose 3D Model as your map type, and then Export the map.
  1. Enter an email address to receive the exported map. Select Point Cloud (.las) as the Data Type, and finish by clicking Export to submit your request. After a few minutes, your requested data will be waiting in your inbox!

What is the Map Projection?

Please note that the LAS file only can be exported using the Standard Map Projection in WGS84. If you want to reproject the LAS file using ArcGIS, please follow the instructions below.

  1. 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.

Choosing a Map Projection

If you are working using a specific Coordinate System or Map Projection, please choose one by clicking on the Coordinate System (optional) icon within the Create LAS Dataset window.

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.

Viewing LAS Point Cloud in ArcGIS