LAS 1.4 Specification Approved by ASPRS Board

The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is pleased to announce LAS 1.4, a new release of the open file format for lidar data storage and delivery. ASPRS has been maintaining and updating this widely used specification since its inception in 2001.

The most significant of the new features include:
• Expansion of the Class field from 32 to 256 classes
• Well Known Text (WKT) encoding for coordinate reference system designation
• Support for scanner designation for multiple sensor laser systems such as mobile mappers
• Support for up to 15 return pulses for discrete pulse systems (waveform support was added at release 1.3)
• Maximum file size increased from 4 GB to a theoretical file size of 18 Exabytes

 “ASPRS has been very proactive in accommodating the needs of the lidar community,” said James Plasker, ASPRS Executive Director. “This latest update addresses the rapidly changing capabilities of lidar hardware as well as recognizing the needs of the data processing side of the technology.   The adoption of WKT as the standard method of representing coordinate reference systems brings LAS in line with evolving GIS standards and ensures a method of accurately representing both horizontal and vertical references.  The expansion to 256 classes will allow more robust representation of complex collection environments such as electric transmission line modeling.”

ASPRS President Gary Florence added “I am very pleased, not only with the outcome, but with the overall public comment and review process.  The ASPRS LAS Working Group effectively resolved several contentious issues in a manner supportive of the broader community.”  Florence also “commended ASPRS Lidar Division Director Lewis Graham for his excellent leadership of the overall process, as well commended the many Working Group members who devoted themselves to this effort.”

The LAS version 1.4 specification was approved by the ASPRS Board of Directors on November 14, 2011 and is available for immediate use. The full specification can be downloaded from the ASPRS website at

Founded in 1934, ASPRS is an international professional organization of 6,000 geospatial data professionals. ASPRS is devoted to advancing knowledge and improving understanding of the mapping sciences to promote responsible application of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems and supporting technologies.