Augmented Reality and Photogrammetry: A Synergy to Visualize Physical and Virtual City Environments

ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Volume 65, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 134-142

Cristina Portalés, José Luis Lerma, Santiago Navarro

“Close-range photogrammetry is based on the acquisition of imagery to make accurate measurements and, eventually, three-dimensional (3D) photo-realistic models. These models are a photogrammetric product per se. They are usually integrated into virtual reality scenarios where additional data such as sound, text or video can be introduced, leading to multimedia virtual environments. These environments allow users both to navigate and interact on different platforms such as desktop PCs, laptops and small hand-held devices (mobile phones or PDAs). In very recent years, a new technology derived from virtual reality has emerged: Augmented Reality (AR), which is based on mixing real and virtual environments to boost human interactions and real-life navigations. The synergy of AR and photogrammetry opens up new possibilities in the field of 3D data visualization, navigation and interaction far beyond the traditional static navigation and interaction in front of a computer screen.

“In this paper we introduce a low-cost outdoor mobile AR application to integrate buildings of different urban spaces. High-accuracy 3D photo-models derived from close-range photogrammetry are integrated in real (physical) urban worlds. The augmented environment that is presented herein requires for visualization a see-through video head mounted display (HMD), whereas user’s movement navigation is achieved in the real world with the help of an inertial navigation sensor. After introducing the basics of AR technology, the paper will deal with real-time orientation and tracking in combined physical and virtual city environments, merging close-range photogrammetry and AR. There are, however, some software and complex issues, which are discussed in the paper.”

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