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Modeling and Visualizing Large Scale Outdoor Scenes

Peter K. Allen
Department of Computer Science
Columbia University
New York, NY

Monday, March 19, 2007

The advent of fast and accurate laser range scanning has brought the promise of automatic creation of 3D models of large structures. However, there is much manual effort required to move from a 3D point cloud to a complete, texture-mapped model. At the Columbia Robotics Laboratory, we have been developing methods that are aimed at automating many parts of the 3D modeling pipeline, including range-range registration, range-image registration, fusion of sensor data (images, range scans, GIS data, video), viewpoint and lighting independent texture mapping, and mobile robot data acquisition. Our research is being used to assist art historians, archaeologists and urban planners in building geometrically and photometrically accurate 3D models of large-scale sites, along with visualization tools that can be used by researchers to explore and understand a site. We present results from modeling historic and archaeological sites in New York, France, Sicily and South Africa.


Peter K. Allen is Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. He received the A.B. degree from Brown University in Mathematics-Economics, the M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Oregon and the Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of the CBS Foundation Fellowship, Army Research Office fellowship and the Rubinoff Award for innovative uses of computers. His current research interests include real-time computer vision, dextrous robotic hands, 3-D modeling and medical robotics. In recognition of his work, Professor Allen has been named a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation.

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