Photogrammetry and Mapping Space

Catie and I have begun more specific research into constructing or reconstructing environments using computer vision.  Right now we’re interested in using photogrammetry to create our virtual space, which is the process of using photos to generate 3d models.   We’re interested in the possible inclusion of GPS coordinates from the photos we take. This would open up the possibility of creating a participatory or communal 3D scan of an environment in which people could contribute their photo from a specific location to help construct the space, thinking about the function of GPS in apps like Instagram or Google Earth. We recently found the Photosynth project, which overlaps a lot of our interests.

We have been hearing about the project Aerialscape done last year by MICA students Sophie Stoerkel and Clara Hickman in which they rigged an iPhone up to a small balloon device to take continuous aerial photos of landscapes to create accurate 3d models using the software Agisoft which specializes in photogrammetry.  Sophia’s blog explains it in more detail:  We met with Sophie to have her run through their process and show us the basics of Agisoft. Most agree that Agisoft is the top photogrammetry software program out right now and is used my most major 3D scanning companies like Direct Dimensions. We’ll definitely be trying this out.

I found a blog post the other day that is extremely relevant to our research:

While most agree that Agisoft produces better resulting point clouds than VisualSFM (used by Jesse in the above post), we became very interested in VisualSFM for a couple reasons discussed by Jesse: free and open source as well as the fact that each of the steps are exposed and it allows you to participate in the process.

A second Idea we’re exploring is constructing 3D spaces from videos. In the spirit of Akihiko Taniguchi we expect the resulting spaces to be filled with holes and other imperfections (if we get it to work at all). For this we’re also looking into Agisoft, VisualSFM and Grasshopper.

We’ve done some quick room scans with the Kinect using Skanect software and while the scans came out pretty good, they were really heavy and were crashing my computer. Also, neither of our ideas could be done with the Kinect; we would have to use photogrammetry.

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