Friday, January 10, 2014

Augmented Reality Maps using Google Styled Maps API

3D Teapot Object is overlaid on Augmented Reality Maps
Augmented Reality Maps using Google Styled Maps
Our goal is developing a method and a program that can detect and track paper maps and show Augmented Reality Maps visualization. To achieve this goal, we use Google Maps.

So, instead of doing prepossessing on regular maps, we make them trackable (easy to track for augmented reality). To do this, Google provides the way to decorate (styling) the standard map to be fit into any design (styled maps). In this case, we can style the map so that the area become clearly visible or distinctive. Hence, it becomes easy to register or track.  

In order to test our tracking method on the outline/region detection and tracking, we style the map and color it using blue color. In the future, we are planning to use another style and apply other tracking method accordingly. We use the styling wizard on this page.

Google Styled Maps Wizard
Google Styled Maps Wizard

We then test to track it using our method (shape tracking). So we use a web camera and run our program to track the region of Australia. Ideally, we should print the map on a piece of paper. Since we have no printer available currently, we only use the screen of a laptop instead of a piece of paper.

Below is the screen captured using the web camera. We can track Australia region and show 3D teapot to show that camera pose is successfully computed. We can change the teapot object with another object such as annotation information.

Next, we will explore how to use the road information from Google Maps for making augmented reality maps.    

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