GPS-Denied Geo-Localization using Visual Odometry


The primary method for geo-localization is based on GPS which has issues of localization accuracy, power consumption, and unavailability. This paper proposes a novel approach to geo-localization in a GPS-denied environment for a mobile platform. Our approach has two principal components: public domain transport network data available in GIS databases or OpenStreetMap; and a trajectory of a mobile platform. This trajectory is estimated using visual odometry and 3D view geometry. The transport map information is abstracted as a graph data structure, where various types of roads are modeled as graph edges and typically intersections are modeled as graph nodes. A search for the trajectory in real time in the graph yields the geo-location of the mobile platform. Our approach uses a simple visual sensor and it has a low memory and computational footprint. In this paper, we demonstrate our method for trajectory estimation and provide examples of geo-localization using public-domain map data. With the rapid proliferation of visual sensors as part of automated driving technology and continuous growth in public domain map data, our approach has the potential to completely augment, or even supplant, GPS based navigation since it functions in all environments.

In Annals of International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Prague, July, 2016.