Thursday, February 25, 2010

How google does surface normals

Apparently, google does use 3D laser point clouds to estimate surface normals (or building facades as they call them), see this quote from :

We have been able to accomplish this by making a compact representation of the building facade and road geometry for all the Street View panoramas using laser point clouds and differences between consecutive pictures.

I've checked the google api to see if there is some way to extract the surface normal at each pixel, but so far have not been able to find that information.

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