Our “free” open-source LiDAR compressor LASzip has become the de-facto standard for compressed point clouds in the LiDAR industry. Winner of the 2012 Geospatial World Forum Technology Innovation Award in LiDAR processing, LASzip squeezes the 5.3 Terabytes of LAS files that the National Land Survey of Finland serves on it’s public servers as part of an “open data” campaign into only 0.8 Terabytes of LAZ files.
Other success stories are OpenTopography that has been serving LAZ for two years and the comprehensive open LiDAR archive of the Department for Natural Resources of Minnesota that are exclusively provided in the LAZ format. See http://laszip.org for a list of software with native LAZ support and a list of download portals with open LiDAR in LAZ format.
We offer LASzip as a laszip.exe Windows binary and as a minimalist open source code distribution (with standard LGPL). LASzip is also available through its tight integration into LASlib – the core library used by LAStools. A stand-alone DLL for adding LAZ support to other software packages can be found there as well.