Using Flickr images for 3D reconstruction

At the Electronic Imaging symposium of 2013, Steve Seitz from Washington University and Google presented a very interesting keynote entitled “a trillion photos”.

The principle is to exploit the millions of images found in databases such as Flickr. The aim of the project Building Rome in a Day is to harvest images from Flickr by simply typing the keywords “Rome” or “Venice”. Many images are unusable because they can not be matched with other images  – such as pictures of a restaurant, of a family, etc. On the other hand, the most touristic places such as “San Marco” are taken in picture from many different angles. By using a standard processing stream such as SIFT + RANSAC + FLANN it is possible to match the images and then to do the 3D reconstruction.

In this video , the pyramids represent the estimated shooting positions. The reconstruction was made by ​​using 14,079 pictures. The reconstruction of Venice is made by ​​using 250,000 images, 496 computing cores. 27h are necessary for matching and 38h for reconstruction.

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