Matei, B. C., Vander Valk, N., Zhiwei, Z., Hui, C., & Sawhney, H. S. (2013). Image to LIDAR matching for geotagging in urban environments. Paper presented at the IEEE Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV 2013) , 15-17 January, Piscataway, NJ.
We present a novel method for matching ground-based query images to a georeferenced LIDAR 3D dataset acquired from an airborne platform in urban environments. We are addressing two main technical challenges: (i) different modalities between the query and the reference data (electro-optical vs. LIDAR) that impose unique challenges to the matching problem; (ii) very different viewing directions from which the query, respectively the LIDAR data were acquired. We make two main technical contributions in this paper. First, we present a method for automatically extracting features from LIDAR data that largely remain invariant to the projection in a 2D image and thus allow robust matching across modalities and change in viewpoint. Second, we describe a matching technique that finds the best 3D pose that relates the query input image to a rendered image of the 3D models. We present results of matching images to high-resolution LIDAR data covering five square kilometers over a city that demonstrate the power of the matching method proposed.