Mapillary creates 3D models with users’ photographs

November 16, 2015  - By 0 Comments

Mapillary has released a video showing 3D models of locations its users photograph. The company said this gives users “the power to virtually explore their own photos like never before.”

According to a Mapillary blog, “Our users have taken over 40 million photos to date. Each of these are stitched together with computer vision – a type of artificial intelligence that extracts information from images. For every single photo uploaded, we can automatically match features to the ones in photos from the same geographic vicinity so that we can compute how the images relate to each other and how to navigate from one to the other. This is how users navigate between photos in the Mapillary app and web browser.

“Taking it one step further, we can also recover a 3D model of every area photographed. What began as a means to improve positioning of each photo beyond the GPS accuracy given by smartphones turned out to be quite an magical viewing experience.

“We couldn’t keep this to ourselves so now users can explore our underlying 3D data by simply clicking the ‘show point clouds’ option in the sidebar in your web browser. We’ve also added full support for panoramas, which enables users to move seamlessly between regular photos and panoramas in 3D, giving them a smooth and other-worldly viewing experience.”

The video shows the 3D data collected from a user walking across the courtyard at the Alcazar Palace in Seville, Spain. The camera positions are shown as white rectangular frames.


(Point clouds from Mapillary on Vimeo.)

This article is tagged with , and posted in GIS News, Technology
Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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