BPF is an NGA specification for point cloud data. The PDAL BPF Writer only supports writing of version 3 BPF format files.

Default Embedded Stage

This stage is enabled by default

Streamable Stage

This stage supports streaming operations





BPF file to write. The writer will accept a filename containing a single placeholder character (‘#’). If input to the writer consists of multiple PointViews, each will be written to a separate file, where the placeholder will be replaced with an incrementing integer. If no placeholder is found, all PointViews provided to the writer are aggregated into a single file for output. Multiple PointViews are usually the result of using filters.splitter, filters.chipper or filters.divider. [Required]


This option can be set to true to cause the file to be written with Zlib compression as described in the BPF specification. [Default: false]


Specifies the format for storing points in the file. [Default: dim]

  • dim: Dimension-major (non-interleaved). All data for a single dimension are stored contiguously.

  • point: Point-major (interleaved). All data for a single point are stored contiguously.

  • byte: Byte-major (byte-segregated). All data for a single dimension are stored contiguously, but bytes are arranged such that the first bytes for all points are stored contiguously, followed by the second bytes of all points, etc. See the BPF specification for further information.


Path of file to be written as a bundled file (see specification). The path part of the filespec is removed and the filename is stored as part of the data. This option can be specified as many times as desired.


Base64-encoded data that will be decoded and written following the standard BPF header.


The coordinate ID (UTM zone) of the data. Southern zones take negative values. A value of 0 indicates cartesian instead of UTM coordinates. A value of ‘auto’ will attempt to set the UTM zone from a suitable spatial reference, or set to 0 if no such SRS is set. [Default: 0]

scale_x, scale_y, scale_z

Scale to be divided from the X, Y and Z nominal values, respectively, after the offset has been applied. The special value “auto” can be specified, which causes the writer to select a scale to set the stored values of the dimensions to range from [0, 2147483647]. [Default: .01]

Note: written value = (nominal value - offset) / scale.

offset_x, offset_y, offset_z

Offset to be subtracted from the X, Y and Z nominal values, respectively, before the value is scaled. The special value “auto” can be specified, which causes the writer to set the offset to the minimum value of the dimension. [Default: auto]

Note: written value = (nominal value - offset) / scale.


Because BPF data is always stored in UTM, the XYZ offsets are set to “auto” by default. This is to avoid truncation of the decimal digits (which may occur with offsets left at 0).


If specified, limits the dimensions written for each point. Dimensions are listed by name and separated by commas. X, Y and Z are required and must be explicitly listed.


An expression that limits points passed to a writer. Points that don’t pass the expression skip the stage but are available to subsequent stages in a pipeline. [Default: no filtering]


A strategy for merging points skipped by a ‘where’ option when running in standard mode. If true, the skipped points are added to the first point view returned by the skipped filter. If false, skipped points are placed in their own point view. If auto, skipped points are merged into the returned point view provided that only one point view is returned and it has the same point count as it did when the writer was run. [Default: auto]