Adding a GPS and heading sensor to the camera system to improve outdoor scanning.

It would be great if the camera system could be used more effectively outdoors.

Unfortunately, direct sunlight interferes with the infrared sensors that are critical to its ability to work out the position and heading of the camera relative the previous position of the camera. It is possible to scan during twilight hours but then it usually becomes necessary to make multiple visits to the same job location in order to complete the scanning.

To get around the problem I suggest that it should be possible to use a combination of GPS and a heading sensor to work out the camera's location and the direction that it is facing.

Both types of sensors are commonly found in smart phones these days and are now very cheap to source.

If high accuracy positioning is required (10cm or better) then it should be possible to record raw GPS data in RINEX format and submit that data for post processing when the model is uploaded to the cloud.

There are a number of organizations out there that offer free RINEX processing.

A good example is that offered by NRC Canada for example:

Obviously, you wouldn't get a 3D model from the outdoor scans but it would be very simple to generate a map with all of the scan locations overlaid onto it.

An additional benefit would be that no time would be spent waiting for alignments and you could also have very large spaces between scan positions if you wanted them.

Please like this post if you agree!



  • This is a really cool idea. The built in GPS could also be used to help link the outside tour to the inside tour.

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  • Actually once you have exact scan positions through this method, maybe a 3D approximate model of the outdoor space could be generated with some good algorithm that takes two or more views from different points to understand depth.

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