Satellite Image-based Localization via Learned Embeddings

Dong-Ki Kim, Matthew R. Walter

We propose a vision-based method that localizes a ground vehicle using publicly available satellite imagery as the only prior knowledge of the environment. Our approach takes as input a sequence of ground-level images acquired by the vehicle as it navigates, and outputs an estimate of the vehicle's pose relative to a georeferenced satellite image. We overcome the significant viewpoint and appearance variations between the images through a neural multi-view model that learns location-discriminative embeddings in which ground-level images are matched with their corresponding satellite view of the scene. We use this learned function as an observation model in a filtering framework to maintain a distribution over the vehicle's pose. We evaluate our method on different benchmark datasets and demonstrate its ability localize ground-level images in environments novel relative to training, despite the challenges of significant viewpoint and appearance variations.

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