Real-time video-based reconstruction of urban environments

P. Mordohai, J. M. Frahm, A. Akbarzadeh, B. Clipp, C. Engels, D. Gallup, P. Merrell, C. Salmi, S. Sinha, B. Talton, L. Wang, Q. Yang, H. Stewenius, H. Towles, G. Welch, R. Yang, M. Pollefeys, D. Nistér

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We present an approach for automatic 3D reconstruction of outdoor scenes using computer vision techniques. Our system collects video, GPS and INS data which are processed in real-time to produce geo-registered, detailed 3D models that represent the geometry and appearance of the world. These models are generated without manual measurements or markers in the scene and can be used for visualization from arbitrary viewpoints, documentation and archiving of large areas. Our system consists of a data acquisition system and a processing system that generated 3D models from the video sequences off-line but in real-time. The GPS/INS measurements allow us to geo-register the pose of the camera at the time each frame was captured. The following stages of the processing pipeline perform dense reconstruction and generate the 3D models, which are in the form of a triangular mesh and a set of images that provide texture. By leveraging the processing power of the GPU, we are able to achieve faster than real-time performance, while maintaining an accuracy of a few cm.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
Issue number5W47
StatePublished - 2007
Event2nd ISPRS International Workshop on Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures, 3D-ARCH 2007 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: Jul 12 2007Jul 13 2007


  • 3D model
  • Computer vision
  • Geo-registration
  • Large-scale reconstruction
  • Real time processing
  • Stereo reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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