Warehouse network

Point Cloud City: NIST's 3-D indoor mapping model

To help first responders track each other and navigate inside buildings when their vision is obscured, the National Institute of Standards and Technology wants information-rich indoor maps created with 3-D LiDAR it can use for its Point Cloud City model.

NIST's Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program issued a funding notice for an extensive catalog of annotated 3-D indoor point cloud models that can be used by industry, academics and government agencies to advance indoor mapping, localization and public safety. The point cloud models will be based on LiDAR surveys of diverse buildings and structures.

The catalog  will foster additional research related to indoor localization and navigation, as well as other novel indoor location-based services, such identifying indoor architectural features, classifying relevant public safety objects and integrating with augmented and virtual reality technologies for first responder operations.

NIST also expects that the data from the surveyed buildings, or at least a representative subset, will be available to both public safety users and the research community for real-world testing of indoor localization and navigation systems.

In 2017, as part of the Performance Evaluation of Smartphone Indoor Localization challenge, NIST assembled smartphone-based data to help researchers develop indoor localization apps for mobile devices. To collect the data NIST researchers carried the smartphones around 30 different indoor courses, including factory, warehouse and subterranean settings, and created timestamps for over 900 surveyed test points. The resulting data is freely available online.

NIST expects to fund Point Cloud City projects with $50,000 to $500,000 one-year grants. 

Grantees will participate in NIST’s Global Cities Team Challenge as the lead for an action cluster and will be required to present their work at the GCTC expo in the spring of 2019.

Applications are due March 14.  More information can be found here.  

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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