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Open Access Enhanced 3D Mapping with an RGB-D Sensor via Integration of Depth Measurements and Image Sequences

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State-of-the-art visual simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) techniques greatly facilitate three-dimensional (3D) mapping and modeling with the use of low-cost red-green-blue-depth (RGB-D) sensors. However, the effective range of such sensors is limited due to the working range of the infra-red (IR) camera, which provides depth information, and thus the practicability of such sensors in 3D mapping and modeling is limited. To address this limitation, we present a novel solution for enhanced 3D mapping using a low-cost RGB-D sensor. We carry out state-of-the-art visual SLAM to obtain 3D point clouds within the mapping range of the RGB-D sensor and implement an improved structure-from-motion (SfM) on the collected RGB image sequences with additional constraints from the depth information to produce image-based 3D point clouds. We then develop a feature-based scale-adaptive registration to merge the gained point clouds to further generate enhanced and extended 3D mapping results. We use two challenging test sites to examine the proposed method. At these two sites, the coverage of both generated 3D models increases by more than 50% with the proposed solution. Moreover, the proposed solution achieves a geometric accuracy of about 1% in a measurement range of about 20 m. These positive experimental results not only demonstrate the feasibility and practicality of the proposed solution but also its potential.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • The official journal of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - the Imaging and Geospatial Information Society (ASPRS). This highly respected publication covers all facets of photogrammetry and remote sensing methods and technologies.

    Founded in 1934, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world. Our mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies.
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