LiDAR and Point Cloud Formats

Explore the Potential of Point Cloud Data

Unlock the full potential of LiDAR and other point clouds with FME’s point cloud processing capabilities. Read and transform these datasets into the proper format, structure and file size for effective use in any application.

Read a Variety of Point Cloud Formats

FME converts data to hundreds of formats across different data types - CAD, GIS, databases, and more - from a range of commonly used LiDAR and point cloud formats including:

  • LAS
  • XYZ
  • ASTM E57
  • CARIS Spatial Archive CSAR
  • Pointools POD
  • RIEGL Laser Scan Database RDB
  • Terrasolid TerraScan
  • Z+F LaserControl ZFS
  • Minecraft
  • and more

Structurally Transform Point Clouds to Suit Your Exact Needs

Beyond reading and converting point cloud data to more usable formats, FME’s tools can restructure components in various ways to produce a file that suits your specific requirements.


Explore some of the ways FME can be used to unlock the potential of point cloud data:

Create Models and Mashups

Reduce File Sizes

Produce value added structures and mashups for visualization and modeling. Create surfaces and meshes from point clouds or integrate them with a range of other data types including raster, CAD, GIS, and other point clouds.

LiDAR dataset of a section of highway integrated with trees from Sketchup for visualization

Reduce point cloud file sizes through these operations: Tile: generate smaller sections for processing Clip: define a boundary around a specific region and toss external points away Split: extract points based on values such as intensity or colour Thin: eliminate every Nth point

Before and after FME is used to thin a LiDAR dataset of a section of highway.

Analyze Components

Perform Calculations

Evaluate and classify various components of points within a dataset including colour, intensity and elevation for more advanced point cloud analysis.

Split view of a point cloud dataset before (right) and after (left) evaluation of expected flood levels and colouring of points based on the result.

Based on the analysis of components that exist within your dataset, make determinations such as maximum and minimum values, and other statistical calculations.

Reproject Coordinate Systems

Visualize and Share

BIM helps to guide activities such as construction and ongoing maintenance of structures and thus models must adhere to guidelines that ensure these actions progress without issues. FME gives you tools to check 3D BIM data against set rules and look for errors, incomplete data and non-compliances, giving you options for reporting and repairing problems.

Distribute BIM data in more accessible formats. FME reads BIM datasets and transforms the structures into a variety of formats that are more suitable for viewing by a wider audience including 3D PDF and Autodesk InfraWorks. FME's tools preserve all key information you need to make available for display in the output file.

Solve Point Cloud Challenges

Quickly create point cloud transformation workflows in FME Desktop’s graphical authoring environment, taking advantage of intuitive tools and automation. Workflows run with high-speed performance, reading millions of points per second so point cloud data is transformed in a matter of minutes, not hours.

Webinar - Gain Total Control of Your LiDAR and Point Cloud Data

Learn how to quickly transform LiDAR data to meet your requirements with FME. Through demos this presentation outlines how to:

  • clip, tile, split and otherwise manipulate point clouds
  • integrate point clouds with GIS, CAD and raster data
  • perform point-by-point calculations
  • and more

Access webinar’s slides and workspaces

About LiDAR and Point Clouds

LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that produces a type of data referred to as a point cloud. A point cloud is a collection of data points in a three-dimensional coordinate system that, when viewed as a whole, represent external surfaces.