Inertial+ aids street imaging company
XLview is a Spanish company deploying high definition street imaging technology similar to Google StreetView with a service called Fotocalle. The captured panoramic images of cities and suburbs are associated with geographic coordinates. The images can then be used to connect information to specific places, shops or points of interest. This information can then be used for tourism applications. In addition to that, the panoramic photos can also be useful for the control and maintenance of urban services and infrastructure as well as to monitor the evolution of a city over time.
XLview have equipped a Smart Fortwo car with four SLR cameras on the roof. The cameras have wide-angle lenses to achieve a 360° panoramic view. Since most of the data is collected in cities with very challenging GPS environments, XLview have tested the OxTS Inertial+2 system with their camera set-up this summer. The compact Inertial+2 is a high accuracy inertial navigation system which was connected to XLview’s Topcon GPS receiver. The GPS-aided inertial navigation system is able to provide highly accurate position data as well as roll, pitch and heading in order to geo-reference the images.
With the Inertial+2 system on board the vehicle, XLview captured some 16,000 images during the tests in Spain. The system can be set to trigger all four cameras at regular distances. The Inertial+2 can generate an output including measurements of position and orientation when the camera is triggered which is essential for accurately geo-referencing objects from the images.
“We had a great experience with the Inertial+ in Madrid and Aranjuez”, explained Germán González Garrido, co-founder of the street imaging service Fotocalle. With the Inertial+2 it is possible to achieve continuous and reliable position measurements even in downtown urban canyons where the GPS receiver alone used to struggle. With an additional odometer input, the drift rates can be kept to a minimum even in extremely challenging inner city conditions. The highly accurate orientation measurements provided by the Inertial+2 are essential for geo-referencing the cameras.
Utilising an array of state-of-the-art equipment including four cameras for 360° panoramic views, a high accuracy GPS receiver and a high precision OxTS Inertial navigation system, Fotocalle is set to provide leading street imaging technology for a great variety of new, cutting-edge applications.
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Images: Courtesy of XLview