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Removing shadows from Google Earth images

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Abstract:

Google Earth uses aerial and satellite images from various sources as its background. It is designed to enable every person who owns a computer to easily 'fly' to aerial views of any location on the planet. However, just as with ordinary aerial or satellite images, there inevitably exist shadows in Google Earth images, making some ground objects obscured, even unidentifiable. In this paper, we describe a model we have developed for image shadow removal that uses radiative transfer theory in combination with prior knowledge to compensate for the lost information over shadow areas. We arbitrarily selected six images with severe shadows from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York and San Francisco, respectively, for algorithm testing. Our experimental results show that shadows in images can be considerably suppressed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01431160903475316

Affiliations: 1: State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Jointly Sponsored by the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China,Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 2: State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Jointly Sponsored by the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China,Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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