AR walking nav is starting to arrive in Google Maps

I’m really pleased to see that augmented reality navigation has gone into testing with Google Maps users:

On the Google AI Blog, the team gives some insights into the cool tech at work:

We’re experimenting with a way to solve this problem using a technique we call global localization, which combines Visual Positioning Service (VPS), Street View, and machine learning to more accurately identify position and orientation. […]

VPS determines the location of a device based on imagery rather than GPS signals. VPS first creates a map by taking a series of images which have a known location and analyzing them for key visual features, such as the outline of buildings or bridges, to create a large scale and fast searchable index of those visual features. To localize the device, VPS compares the features in imagery from the phone to those in the VPS index. However, the accuracy of localization through VPS is greatly affected by the quality of the both the imagery and the location associated with it. And that poses another question—where does one find an extensive source of high-quality global imagery?

Read on for the full story.

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