The chamfer command is used to compute the Chamfer distance between two point clouds. The Chamfer distance is computed by summing the squared distances between nearest neighbor correspondences of two point clouds.

More formally, for two non-empty subsets \(X\) and \(Y\), the Chamfer distance \(d_{CD}(X,Y)\) is

\[d_{CD}(X,Y) = \sum_{x \in X} \operatorname*{min}_{y \in Y} ||x-y||^2_2 + \sum_{y \in Y} \operatorname*{min}_{x \in X} ||x-y||^2_2\]
$ pdal chamfer <source> <candidate>
--source arg     Source filename
--candidate arg  Candidate filename

The algorithm makes no distinction between source and candidate files (i.e., they can be transposed with no affect on the computed distance).

The command returns 0 along with a JSON-formatted message summarizing the PDAL version, source and candidate filenames, and the Chamfer distance. Identical point clouds will return a Chamfer distance of 0.

$ pdal chamfer source.las candidate.las
  "chamfer": 1.303648726,
  "pdal_version": "1.3.0 (git-version: 191301)"


The Chamfer distance is computed for XYZ coordinates only and as such says nothing about differences in other dimensions or metadata.