Documentation 
The distance transform provides a metric or measure of the separation of points in the image. The bwdist function calculates the distance between each pixel that is set to off (0) and the nearest nonzero pixel for binary images.
The bwdist function supports several distance metrics, listed in the following table.
Distance Metrics
Distance Metric  Description  Illustration 

Euclidean  The Euclidean distance is the straightline distance between two pixels. 

City Block  The city block distance metric measures the path between the pixels based on a 4connected neighborhood. Pixels whose edges touch are 1 unit apart; pixels diagonally touching are 2 units apart. 

Chessboard  The chessboard distance metric measures the path between the pixels based on an 8connected neighborhood. Pixels whose edges or corners touch are 1 unit apart. 

QuasiEuclidean  The quasiEuclidean metric measures the total Euclidean distance along a set of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal line segments. 

This example creates a binary image containing two intersecting circular objects.
center1 = 10; center2 = center1; dist = sqrt(2*(2*center1)^2); radius = dist/2 * 1.4; lims = [floor(center11.2*radius) ceil(center2+1.2*radius)]; [x,y] = meshgrid(lims(1):lims(2)); bw1 = sqrt((xcenter1).^2 + (ycenter1).^2) <= radius; bw2 = sqrt((xcenter2).^2 + (ycenter2).^2) <= radius; bw = bw1  bw2; figure, imshow(bw), title('bw')
To compute the distance transform of the complement of the binary image, use the bwdist function. In the image of the distance transform, note how the centers of the two circular areas are white.
D = bwdist(~bw); figure, imshow(D,[]), title('Distance transform of ~bw')