, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 5-24

An Automated Method for Large-Scale, Ground-Based City Model Acquisition

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Abstract

In this paper, we describe an automated method for fast, ground-based acquisition of large-scale 3D city models. Our experimental set up consists of a truck equipped with one camera and two fast, inexpensive 2D laser scanners, being driven on city streets under normal traffic conditions. One scanner is mounted vertically to capture building facades, and the other one is mounted horizontally. Successive horizontal scans are matched with each other in order to determine an estimate of the vehicle's motion, and relative motion estimates are concatenated to form an initial path. Assuming that features such as buildings are visible from both ground-based and airborne view, this initial path is globally corrected by Monte-Carlo Localization techniques. Specifically, the final global pose is obtained by utilizing an aerial photograph or a Digital Surface Model as a global map, to which the ground-based horizontal laser scans are matched. A fairly accurate, textured 3D cof the downtown Berkeley area has been acquired in a matter of minutes, limited only by traffic conditions during the data acquisition phase. Subsequent automated processing time to accurately localize the acquisition vehicle is 235 minutes for a 37 minutes or 10.2 km drive, i.e. 23 minutes per kilometer.