ASPRS board approves LAS 1.3 specification

The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is pleased to announce LAS 1.3, 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 at the beginning of this decade.

The 1.3 release adds support for waveform encoding of laser returns. The encoding of this new data extension is optional, allowing LAS 1.3 to be used as the specification in normal multi-return delivery products.

“ASPRS has been very proactive in accommodating the rapid advances in LIDAR hardware technology with frequent updates to the LAS specification,” said Jim Plasker, Executive Director of the ASPRS. “This latest update allows lidar system vendors to store waveform information directly in the LAS file. This new capability offers exciting opportunities for developing advanced algorithms for application areas such as urban modeling and forestry. Over 50 hardware vendors, software developers, production companies and commercial/government agencies participated in the development of this latest version of the specification and thus we expect that it will be rapidly adopted for both exploitation and data delivery.”

The LAS version 1.3 specification was approved by the ASPRS Board of Directors on July 14, 2009 and is available for immediate use. The full specification can be downloaded from the ASPRS website at