What is Visual Positioning System (VPS)?

Visual Positioning System, or VPS, has been the thrill of the city for the previous few months. VPS is a characteristic in Google Maps that helps to beat the challenges of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and provides extra exact areas.

Since 2018-19 Google has been experimenting to solve the GPS problem utilizing a method known as international localization, which mixes VPS, Street View, and machine studying to establish place and orientation extra precisely. And not too long ago, in Dec 2022, the corporate embedded immersive, location-based AR experiences with the ARCore Geospatial API.

What is Visual Positioning System (VPS)?

VPS is a expertise that permits a tool, corresponding to a smartphone or a drone, to find out its location and orientation within the bodily world utilizing visible cues. VPS methods use laptop imaginative and prescient algorithms to investigate photographs from a digital camera or different optical sensor and match them towards a database of recognized areas or options.

Google’s VPS

Google Maps makes use of VPS to supply location and navigation providers for customers of its AR ‘Live View’ characteristic. This characteristic makes use of the digital camera on a consumer’s smartphone to supply real-time, AR-enhanced navigation directions and placement info.

The VPS system processes the photographs captured by the smartphone digital camera to find out the consumer’s location and orientation after which overlays AR parts, corresponding to digital indicators and arrows, onto the digital camera view to supply instructions and different info.

Overall, VPS expertise performs a vital function in lots of the location and navigation options provided by Google Maps, serving to to supply exact and correct location info in numerous environments.

How does VPS work?

VPS determines a tool’s location primarily based on imagery slightly than GPS alerts. VPS first creates a map by taking a collection of photographs which have a recognized location and analyzing them for key visible options, such because the define of buildings or bridges, to create a large-scale and quick searchable index of these visible options. To localize the system, VPS compares the options in imagery from the cellphone to these within the VPS index. However, the accuracy of localization by VPS is tremendously affected by the standard of each the imagery and the situation related to it.

Google has linked it with Street View photographs, which have been captured across the globe for greater than 15 years and are the inspiration of VPS. Deep neural networks establish and describe components of the photographs which might be more likely to be recognizable over lengthy durations. Those components are then mixed throughout tens of billions of photographs to compute a 3D level cloud of the worldwide atmosphere. This localization mannequin consists of trillions of factors and spans almost all nations with future protection.

When the consumer’s system requests the Geospatial API, a neural community processes the pixels to seek out recognizable components of the consumer’s atmosphere and matches them to the VPS localization mannequin. Computer imaginative and prescient algorithms then compute the place and orientation of the system, providing a location that is way more correct than what was beforehand potential with GPS alone.

What is the function of Geospatial API?

The ARCore Geospatial API allows remotely connect content material to any space lined by Google Street View and creating AR experiences on a world scale. It makes use of a tool sensor and GPS knowledge to detect the system’s atmosphere, then matches the recognizable components of that atmosphere to a localization mannequin offered by Google’s Visual Positioning System (VPS) to find out the exact location of a consumer’s system. The API additionally merges the consumer’s native coordinates with the geographic coordinates from VPS so {that a} consumer can work inside a single coordinate system.

What are the benefits?

The new visible system is geared toward providing ample assist to repair navigation issues. Here are a number of benefits of Google VPS that make it stand out on this technology-driven period: 

  • VPS can assist you get higher enterprise insights and help purchasers on foot.
  • Provides the consumer with the benefits of native advertising.
  • It may be made out there for all transportation modes. It is an icon within the transportation sector.
  • Very useful in city areas the place GPS providers are sometimes distracted or blocked by skyscrapers.
  • Usability in indoor and outside areas and GPS-denied environments with assured accuracy regardless of the scale of the world. 
  • VPS could be a nice support to the visually impaired, because the close-up visible help can assist them navigate.


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