An idea to make your own Google Street view

Vincent Jordan
Nov 1, 2020 · 2 min read

Scanning the streets might not need an expensive setup.

Do you remember the 8-camera video stitcher project?

Eight Raspberry Pi and corresponding camera are connected on a local network and synchronized to capture 360° panoramic images.

What if you let it grow taller and attach a bike to it?

You get a vehicle to compete with Google Street View!
Time to go on the street…

Street view

Try it here:

Street scanner

If we stitch together the frames from the camera perpendicular to the street with stock OpenCV stitcher tool, we get this:

Failed street scan: not enough overlapping details at the gate on the right

Oups! It did not work as expected, but with some modifications of the stitching process to force picture alignment, we would be going toward a potential solution.

Potential Improvements

  • Add a magnetometer to register the orientation of the camera
    For drawing a street overlay on the picture and to align the forward/backward arrows with the actual street when the picture is panned around.
  • Add a spinning wheel sensor to register precise length between each picture
    So that the forward/backward step is a consistent length (e.g., 10 meters) and does not depends on the speed of the bike
  • Add some AI post-processing to blur car plates and people’s faces.

Fun projects at Inatech

New ideas from engineers working at Inatech

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