A collection of outdoor robotic datasets with centimeter-accuracy ground truth
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The lack of publicly accessible datasets with a reliable ground truth has prevented in the past a fair and coherent comparison of different methods proposed in the mobile robot Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) literature. Providing such a ground truth becomes specially challenging in the case of visual SLAM, where the world model is 3-dimensional and the robot path is 6-dimensional. This work addresses both the practical and theoretical issues found while building a collection of six outdoor datasets. It is discussed how to estimate the 6-d vehicle path from readings of a set of three Real Time Kinematics (RTK) GPS receivers, as well as the associated uncertainty bounds that can be employed to evaluate the performance of SLAM methods. The vehicle was also equipped with several laser scanners, from which reference point clouds are built as a testbed for other algorithms such as segmentation or surface fitting. All the datasets, calibration information and associated software tools are available for download http://babel.isa.uma.es/mrpt/papers/dataset2009/.