Third-Party Softwares That Support Files Exported From the Propeller Platform

Users of the Propeller Platform can download and export many different file formats for use in third-party software. We ensure that each file format is tested to verify that it is compatible and performs as it would in your portal.

All the software and versions mentioned in this article are tested and supported. You may be able to use different software packages and versions. However, we do not guarantee support for those not included here. 

What software and file formats are tested?

Trimble Business Center (TBC)

All Trimble Stratus exports and deliverables integrate seamlessly to use with TBC. Read up on working with Trimble TTM surface files or converting KML/KMZ using TBC to learn more.


File Types

  • v2023.10

  • TTM
  • Orthophoto JPEG
  • GeoTIFF (BigTIFF not applicable)
  • Point Cloud
  • DXF (outline, contours, 3D faces)

Global Mapper (GM)

Global Mapper is a GIS software package specializing in geospatial processing tools and data import and export of numerous file types. To learn how Global Mapper can be used with Propeller, check out our Knowledge Base article on splitting or crop point clouds or creating contour files from a DEM.


File Types

  • v24.1

  • GeoTIFF 
  • Orthophoto JPEG
  • Point Cloud
  • DXF (outline, contours, 3D faces, mesh)

Quantum GIS (QGIS)

QGIS is a free, open-source application that allows users to create, edit, analyze, and visualize geospatial data. 


File Types

  • v3.34.1

  • GeoTIFF 
  • Orthophoto JPEG
  • Point Cloud
  • DXF (outline, contours, 3D faces)
  • Orthophoto JPEG

Civil 3D

Civil 3D is software that aids in planning, designing, and managing civil engineering projects. To learn how to export TIN Surface DWG to a DXF, import orthophotos into Civil 3D, or simplify a TIN Surface, check out our Knowledge Base.


File Types

  • 2024

  • GeoTIFF (Orthophoto only, BigTIFF not applicable)
  • DXF (outline, contours, 3D faces, mesh)
  • JPEG (less than 128 characters)

ArcGIS Pro

ESRI's ArcGIS is a common tool for compiling, editing, publishing, and sharing geospatial data.


File Types

  • 3.2.1

  • GeoTIFF 
  • DXF (outline, contours, 3D faces, mesh)
  • JPEG

Cloud Compare

Could Compare is an open-source tool for handling 3D point cloud and meshing on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Visit our Knowledge Base to learn how to download and install Cloud Compare or how to convert .TIFF to .XYZ



File Types

  • 2.13

  • Point Cloud
  • DXF (outline, contour, 3D faces)

While Northing and Easting information is included, the coordinate reference system (CRS) is not included in the metadata of DXF files. The corresponding coordinate reference system must be set when loading into a 3rd party software.

Third-Party Software Troubleshooting

Orthophoto GeoTiff 

Some software packages have limited BigTIFF format support or large GeoTIFF files. BigTIFFs are automatically produced when the Orthophoto is around 4GB, or it is deemed necessary for file creation. When downloading a pre-baked or on-demand Orthophoto GeoTIFF from Propeller, you may encounter a file that does not open in your package due to this limitation. 

As a workaround, you may Export a Cropped Portion of Your Orthophoto From a Measurement and do one of the following:

  • Export a lower-resolution Orthophoto. 
  • To maintain a higher resolution, break up the site into several smaller on-demand exports or, 
  • *include a world file in the request.

*Opening a Large Orthophoto in Trimble Business Center (TBC)

Large GeoTIFF files (not necessarily bigTIFFs) are tagged as Unreferenced Images in TBC.

When extents are not tightly trimmed to areas with data (not areas with "no data"), there could be a higher chance that the TIFF will be unreferenced in TBC.

This issue can be resolved through the presence of a world file.

1. Ensure that the Orthophoto and World File (.tfw or .wld) are in the same folder and have the same name.

2. Create/Open a Project.

3. Click Home > Import.

4. In the Import tab, navigate to the location of the files.

5. Confirm that the File Type of the Orthophoto is Georeferenced Image (World).

6. Select the file and click Import.

*Displaying an Orthophoto or Point Cloud file in the Proper Orientation in QGIS

You may encounter files that is not displayed in the proper orientation when loaded in QGIS. When the map view shows a flipped display of an orthophoto or point cloud file, i.e. the coordinates of features are negated, the workaround is to assign the coordinate system of the file:

1. Open the Layer Properties.

2. Go to the Source information.

3. Depending on the default CRS detected, change the Assigned Coordinate Reference System (CRS):

  • From default Project CRS: unknown to the correct CRS; or
  • From default detected CRS to Project CRS: unknown.

LAS 1.4

Other third-party software not listed here may not fully support LAZ 1.4 yet. Downgrading the version to 1.2 may resolve the compatibility issue.

Here are some recommendations to set the desired version.

PDAL via writers.las

1. Open a shell where PDAL can be accessed


  • Download Miniconda and install it.
  • Open a Conda shell, then install PDAL by running this command on the shell:
conda install -c conda-forge pdal


if your QGIS was installed via OSGeo4W network installer, this may already be available on your machine.

  • Download OSGeo4W network installer.
  • Pick one or more packages to install, ensuring PDAL is included.
  • Run the OSGeo4W shell.

2. Set the las minor version by typing this command:

pdal translate --writers.las.minor_version=2 input.laz output.laz

  • input.laz can be changed by dragging the desired file to the shell
  • change output.laz to folderdirectory/filename.laz of the output

LASTools via las2las

  1. Unzip the LASTools folder.

  2. Open Command prompt (cmd).

  3. Change directory to where las2las is (/bin)

Type the following command to set the minor version to 2:

las2las -i input.laz -set_version 1.2 -o output.laz

Setting the minor version to 2 doesn't automatically create a GeoTIFF Variable Length Record (VLR) wherein the CRS of LAS 1.2 is represented. This may cause some software to be unable to identify the CRS of the file. If this is the case, the target projection should also be set.

To set minor version to 2 and set the file's projection within a GeoTIFF VLR

If the target projection has an EPSG code:

las2las -i input.laz -set_version 1.2 -target_epsg <code> -o output.laz

If the target projection is a UTM zone:

las2las -i input.laz -set_version 1.2 -target_utm <UTM zone> -o output.laz

For other possible CRS options, see https://las2las_README.txt


1. Open the Point Cloud file in Global Mapper.

2. Right-click on the file > Layer > EXPORT - Export Layer(s) to New File.

3. Select Lidar LAS File or Lidar LAZ (LAZzip) File as the Export format.

4. Set Lidar LAS/LAZ Export options to:

  • Format Version: 1.2
  • Global Encoding: 0

5. Click OK and Save the file.

I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to equip you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

If you're stuck, you can connect with our support team by clicking the support button on the top right corner of your user portal.

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