RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems, Austria has become a sponsor of the award-winning LASzip compressor.

Their contribution at the silver level will kick off the actual development phase of the native LAS 1.4 extension that has been discussed among the LiDAR community over the past two years. This native extension for LAS 1.4 complements the existing compatibility mode for LAS 1.4 that was supported by gold sponsor NOAA and Bronze sponsors Quantum Spatial and Trimble Geospatial. The original sponsor who initiated and financed the open sourcing of the LASzip compressor was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The existing LAS 1.4 compatibility mode in LASzip was created to provide immediate support for compressing the new LAS 1.4 point types by rewriting them as old point types and storing their new information as "Extra Bytes". As an added side benefit, this has allowed legacy software without LAS 1.4 support to readily read the newer LAS files as most of the important fields of the new point types six to ten can be mapped to fields of the older point types one, three, or five.

In contrast, the new native LAS 1.4 extension of LASzip that is now sponsored in part by RIEGL will utilize the natural break in the format due to the new point types of LAS 1.4 to introduce entirely new features such as selective decompression, rewritable classifications and flags, integrated spatial indexing, and other functionality that has been brain-stormed with the community.

RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems is a performance leader in research, development and production of terrestrial, industrial, mobile, bathymetric, airborne and UAS-based laser scanning systems. RIEGL’s innovative hard- and software provides powerful solutions for nearly all imaginable fields of application.