New system removes pedestrians from Google Street View scenes

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Washington, Aug 6 (ANI): Computer science students from University of California, San Diego have developed a system that removes pedestrians from urban scenes pulled from Google Street View.

Google Street View provides panoramic views of cities, towns and rural areas across the world.

The system, developed by Arturo Flores, removes pedestrians and replaces the holes in the images with an approximation of the actual background behind each pedestrian.

The next step is to remove groups of pedestrians from single images.

The pedestrian removal is relatively "ghost free" - meaning that the artifacts caused by the pixel swapping are usually not distracting. But the pedestrian remover does occasionally produce strange results - like dogs on leashes with no owners, and shoes with feet but nothing else.

In addition, the system struggles to generate background pixels when the pedestrian happens to be walking in the same direction as the vehicle at just the right speed.

The pedestrian remover only works in urban settings - where the pixels blocked by people are often "on a dominant planar surface" - which makes them simpler to replace.

"This is a cute idea that, as far as we know, has not been explored," said Serge Belongie, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. (ANI)

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