Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ newsletters and blogs. She writes on a number of topics, including but not limited to geospatial, architecture, engineering and construction. As many technologies evolve and occasionally merge, Susan finds herself uniquely situated to be able to cover diverse topics with facility. « Less
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Street-Level Images Come to ArcGIS Pro with Mapillary
March 22nd, 2018 by Susan Smith
Recently, ArcGIS Pro specialists at the company Mapillary answered a few questions for GISCafe Voice:
How long has Mapillary been in existence? What is its primary focus?
Mapillary is a street-level imagery platform powered by collaboration and computer vision. The company was founded in 2013.
Mapillary combines images from any device into a visualization of the world to generate data for improving maps, developing cities, and progressing the automotive industry. Mapillary’s tools enable anyone to collect, share, and use street-level images. Computer vision technology reconstructs locations in 3D and recognizes objects from the images to generate map data at scale. Today, people and organizations all over the world have contributed over 250 million images toward Mapillary’s mission of helping people understand the world’s places through images and making this data available.
What does the new Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro beta contain – what are its primary features?
The Beta focuses on bringing Mapillary public imagery into ArcGIS Pro. In short, it lets customers:
What was in the previous release and why did you make certain feature upgrades?
The latest version, available in Public Beta, contains the same general functionality as earlier releases. However, we’ve made considerable performance improvements.
Earlier releases of Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro faced a challenge when rendering the large number of features required to show our imagery coverage. Our previous method of serializing vector tiles into a feature layer came coupled with a decrease in performance. For the Public Beta, we’ve notably increased performance and reduced system overhead by serving vector tiles directly into ArcGIS Pro. This means a faster and more efficient experience using Mapillary Imagery from the add-in.
Is a specific type of camera used?
The imagery on Mapillary is contributed collaboratively by Mapillary users all over the world: individuals, companies, non-profits, and governments. The platform is device-agnostic so every contributor uses a camera setup that suits them best, from Mapillary mobile apps to action cameras to professional 360-degree cameras.
What kind of geotagging of photos is used?
The Mapillary mobile apps (including integrations with some common action and 360-degree cameras) save location information into the image EXIF during capture and is then uploaded to Mapillary directly via the app. In addition, any geotagged images can be uploaded with help of our web uploader or command line tools. It’s also possible to upload image files together with a .gpx file that’s used for geotagging during the upload process.
How is the rendering of a large number of features implemented in the beta and how does it differ from previous versions?
The large amount of features rendered in the latest beta come directly from Mapillary’s vector tiles, which are in a protobuf format. We host a style layer for the vector tiles on our Esri organizational account, and reference this along with our vector tile endpoint in order to render the points and lines on the map. This differs from previous version, which were making calls to our API using a bounding box based on the current map view, and making another API call when the view changed–a method which resulted in slow performance.
Who is currently able to access the beta? How would someone go about becoming a beta user?
The Public Beta program is available to anyone to join directly from the Mapillary for ArcGIS web page. The user will need to have a Mapillary account to get started.
How is ArcGIS Pro a valuable platform for Mapillary?
ArcGIS Pro is valuable to Mapillary because it allows us to connect our product to the everyday workflow of our GIS customers. Mapillary provides a platform for viewing street-level imagery, and also provides data extracted from this imagery. Governments, non-profits, and private enterprises often collect both imagery and data, and Mapillary integration to ArcGIS Pro means that their everyday GIS work environment can be supplemented by Mapillary’s imagery viewer, editing tools, and data extractions.
What is the cost of the product, and how is it delivered, i.e., cloud, subscription, desktop, etc.?
The Public Beta version of Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro is free. It’s installed as an add-on to ArcGIS Pro, which currently is obtained by downloading an installer file which detects your version of ArcGIS Pro and installs the appropriate add-in file that we host on the cloud. All the imagery that users view is also hosted in the cloud, but visible in a desktop experience with ArcGIS Pro. After the beta program ends, we plan to offer the add-in as a subscription service on the Esri Marketplace, with pricing yet to be determined.
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Categories: 3D Cities, ArcGIS, Big Data, climate change, cloud, crowd source, emergency response, Esri, field GIS, geospatial, GIS, Google, in car navigation, iPhone, laser radar, LBS, lidar, location based sensor fusion, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, mobile, Open Source, photogrammetry, public safety, reality modeling, remote sensing, situational intelligence, Street View