Learning Deep Representations for Ground-to-Aerial Geolocalization


The recent availability of geo-tagged images and rich geospatial data has inspired a number of algorithms for image based geolocalization. Most approaches predict the location of a query image by matching to ground-level images with known locations (e.g., street-view data). However, most of the Earth does not have ground-level reference photos available. Fortunately, more complete coverage is provided by oblique aerial or “bird’s eye” imagery. In this work, we localize a ground-level query image by matching it to a reference database of aerial imagery. We use publicly available data to build a dataset of 78K aligned cross-view image pairs. The primary challenge for this task is that traditional computer vision approaches cannot handle the wide baseline and appearance variation of these cross-view pairs. We use our dataset to learn a feature representation in which matching views are near one another and mismatched views are far apart. Our proposed approach, Where-CNN, is inspired by deep learning success in face verification and achieves significant improvements over traditional hand-crafted features and existing deep features learned from other large-scale databases. We show the effectiveness of Where-CNN in finding matches between street view and aerial view imagery and demonstrate the ability of our learned features to generalize to novel locations.

In The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2015.