Visual Positioning Systems -- An Extension to MoVIPS


Due to the increasing popularity of location-based services, the need for reliable and cost-effective indoor positioning methods is rising. As an alternative to radio-based localization methods, in 2011, we introduced MoVIPS (Mobile Visual Indoor Positioning System), which is based on the idea to extract visual feature points from a query image and compare them to those of previously collected geo-referenced images. The general feasibility of positioning by SURF points on a conventional smartphone was already shown in our previous work. However, the system still faced several shortcomings concerning real-world usage such as request times being too high and distance estimation being unreliable because of the employed estimation method not being rotation invariant. In this paper, three extensions are presented that improve the practical applicability of MoVIPS. To speed up request times, both a dead reckoning approach (based on step counting using the accelerometer) and an orientation estimation (based on the smartphones compass) are introduced to filter relevant images from the database and thus to reduce the amount of images to compare the query image to. Furthermore, the vectors of the SURF points are quantized. For this purpose, clusters are calculated from all SURF points from the database. As a result, each image can be represented by a histogram of cluster frequencies, which can be compared with each other a lot more efficiently. The third extension is an improvement of the distance estimation method, which uses the matched feature points of an image to perform a perspective transformation and to determine the actual position with the aid of the transformation matrix.

5th International Conference on Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation (IPIN 2014)