3D Mapping with a Tablet – It’s Here

tangoResearchers from ETH Zurich have been able to create an entire 3D model of the university’s main building in just 10 minutes using a tablet equipped with a fish-eye lens.

The research forms part of the development process for Google’s Project Tango which the search giant has been working on for the last three years.

The 3D model is compiled from multiple images that are taken on a tablet with an integrated fish eye lens camera. The system uses triangulation in a similar fashion to geodetic surveying, which is a method used to account for the curvature of the surface of the earth when conducting geographical surveys.

The software analyses two images of a building’s façade that were taken from different positions. For each pixel in an image, it searches for the corresponding element in the other.

It is then able to determine how far each picture element is from the device and uses this information to generate a 3D model of the object.

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