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Scene reconstruction and visualization from community photo collections

: Snavely, Noah; Simon, Ian; Goesele, Michael; Szeliski, Richard; Seitz, Steven M.


Proceedings of the IEEE 98 (2010), No.8, pp.1370-1390
ISSN: 0018-9219
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGD ()
community photo collection; review; computer vision; multiview stereo; 3D navigation; 3D scene reconstruction; 3D visualization; Forschungsgruppe Capturing Reality (CARE)

There are billions of photographs on the Internet, representing an extremely large, rich, and nearly comprehensive visual record of virtually every famous place on Earth. Unfortunately, these massive community photo collections are almost completely unstructured, making it very difficult to use them for applications such as the virtual exploration of our world. Over the past several years, advances in computer vision have made it possible to automatically reconstruct 3D geometry-including camera positions and scene models-from these large, diverse photo collections. Once the geometry is known, we can recover higherlevel information from the spatial distribution of photos, such as the most common viewpoints and paths through the scene. This article reviews recent progress on these challenging computer vision problems, and describes how we can use the recovered structure to turn community photo collections into immersive, interactive 3D experiences.