Note: This post was updated about an hour after I published it to include a weblink to the download as well as a section on file sizes.
I just saw this post on twitter and thought I’d do a quick write up! Always nice to see new data release especially from the National LiDAR Programme!
For us GIS types based in the UK this is good news, the national LiDAR programme is a great idea. I just wish the data had RGB values in it but oh well I can’t have everything!
For Esri users (yes other software is available but I’m not as good with it) the files are downloaded as LAZ, ArcGIS Pro doesn’t natively read these so you have to use one of two GP tools in the Geoprocessing Toolbox to create a dataset you can view. If you have issues with the tools included with ArcGIS, I suggest you have a look at LASTools….
For analysis you need to convert the LAZ to LAS (Nested in a LASD file), use the Convert LAS GP tool, information here about it. (check licence levels but you need Spatial Analyst or 3D Analyst extensions if you have a Basic licence).
For just viewing and smaller file sizes (and faster viewing) in ArcGIS Pro, use the Create Point Cloud Scene Layer Package tool, information here about it. (all licence levels)
Viewing in ArcGIS Pro
Once added to the layers list (local or global scene) you can use the Appearance tab to improve it’s look (see image above). I tend to up the display limit and density. I also change the defaults for classification symbology to take account of intensity (if it has those values).
A word on file sizes
Thought I’d add a bit about what file sizes each file format described above (LAZ, LAS, SLPK) are on one tile of LiDAR downloaded from the 2020 updates. All data processed with ArcGIS Pro 2.6.3. Whilst file sizes are important remember that only LAS files can be used in GP tools in ArcGIS Pro (think of SLPK files as static published datasets for fast viewing especially on the web)
|File Type||Name / Type||File Size KB (MB/GB size on disk)|
|LAZ (original)||NY3555_P_10627_20200207_20200318.laz||158,896 KB (155 MB)|
|LAS (processed)||NY3555_P_10627_20200207_20200318.las||1,311,882 KB (1.25GB)|
|SLPK (processed)||NY3555_P_10627_20200207_20200318.slpk||351,084 KB (342 MB)|