News

Planned features

Bounding boxes mockup

We wish to share a couple of interesting features that will be coming to DataFromSky soon. Currently, DataFromSky understands vehicles only as points. This is an outcome of using the particular technology which we chose. However, this results in one very important drawback: We can’t tell real distance between vehicles. Incidentally, we hope for many applications, which would need precise measurement of distances starting from the actual metal, not an ideal point. After this introduction, it should come as no surprise that we are working on detection of vehicle bounding boxes. This will enable much better distance measurement for safety evaluations.

Another improvement in the pipeline is addition of anonymization functions. As you can imagine, aerial recording in urban areas results in a lot of areas being exposed, while they are assumed to be hidden from sight. To protect privacy, DataFromSky will allow marking of areas for blurring or blanking.

We hope to add this soon, so stay tuned for new versions!

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DroneBlog and Intertraffic Amsterdam

DroneBlog logo DroneBlog covered us a few days ago in a post called DataFromSky offers traffic analysis of aerial video data. Given that the blog is mostly for the drone sector, there is a lot of text dealing with traffic data collection basics and particulars. There is a bit of history behind DataFromSky as well – how a group of computer vision specialists got into traffic analysis.

Intertraffic logo In other news, we are at Intertraffic in Amsterdam and the concentration of minds and companies is spectacular. We hope to get some newsworthy partnerships and arrangements!

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Partnerships in Italy and Switzerland

A few days after announcing the previous business agreement, we are happy to announce also our new partnerships for the Italian and Swiss markets.

Partnerships in Italy

Trafficlab (part of the Progectolab group) is DataFromSky partner since half 2014 and is now the Official Distributor for Italy and Switzerland of the DataFromSky market. After a great promotion and sponsorship in Italy (Dronitaly 2014, Smart Mobility Forum 2014 and 2015) we are getting great satisfaction from our major trading partner. After a start slowed by regulatory difficulties for the overflight of drones in urban area, now the reliefs start increasing day by day.

But the news does not end here. Recently two exclusive contracts with ESSE8 society and TAU have been signed. The Italian market so increases with two important business partners who will play the roles of regional exclusive sale representative. The ESSE8 engineering company has an exclusive contract until 2017 for the Veneto and Campania regions and also cooperates on the development of software applications for road safety. The company TAU specialized in monitoring and traffic simulations, has also signed an exclusive agreement until 2017 for the Lombardia Region, and is holding a balloon specifically developed for aircraft traffic surveys.

For all the Italian and Swiss market informations you can contact the Trafficlab company at the following addresses:
DataFromSky Official Distributor for Italy and Switzerland, Andrea Marella, andrea.marella@datafromsky.com

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High-rise used for traffic monitoring in Trieste

We have been recently asked by a student of civil engineering from University of Trieste to analyze a video for his master’s thesis titled “The Design of Road Intersection“.

With this video, we can present another mode of use for DataFromSky, a first for us: Video shot from buildings. As you can imagine, the image is stable as a rock, and not too bad for just 45 meters at 13th floor. The covered area is rather small, but that does not matter much here. The area is quite confined anyway, with all the buildings around. One of the roads almost immediately disappears in a tunnel. To quote the author:

The analysed crossroad is an urban traffic-light intersection, located in the suburbs of the Municipality of Trieste. The intersection presents a substantial traffic flow especially in the morning and the evening hours. Most of the inhabitants which live in the suburbs of Trieste cross this road intersection to go to work, to school and to university.

Gate placement – click for Google maps. The building with camera is on the right.
Annotations

Origin-destination matrix

Exit gate 8 Exit gate 9 Exit gate 12 Exit gate 14 Exit gate 16 Exit gate 17
Entry gate 7 0 0 0 504 673 0
Entry gate 10 0 0 7 0 1 103
Entry gate 11 1 2 1 2 8 121
Entry gate 13 555 21 0 45 285 0
Entry gate 15 676 35 40 136 1 164

You can also take a look at the thesis abstract written by Ing. Erik Sferco:
PDF English version
PDF Italian version

In this survey, we tracked 3 617 vehicles which travelled 338 898 meters in total. Length of the analyzed video was about one hour. We are looking for partners from academic sphere as well! If you want to utilize DataFromSky approach in your research, do not hesitate to contact us.

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New version of Viewer

We have a new version of Viewer! You can download it at the home page, or use this direct link. The list of differences includes a lot of things, so let’s take a look at them one by one.

Gate angular sensitivity illustration

Gate angular sensitivity

Gates can count objects, and filter them based on their type. When we had to cope with chaos on the road in both directions, we added directionality. But sometimes all objects come chaotically from all directions, such as pedestrians. What then?

We now added a new setting for gates, where it is possible to select the angles under which objects must come. If their direction falls outside this angular range, the gate will not register them. With this functionality it is possible to handle yet another level of chaos and uncertainty, should you chance to record such behaviour.

On the left is a mock picture of the concept. Both gates have directionality set. The entry gate (15) has angular sensitivity of 90 degrees and the exit gate (7) has angular sensitivity of 15 degrees. Without directionality, the cones that depict the angle ranges would be on both sides. Note that angle of 90° means a right angle on both left and right: A bi-directional gate with angle of 90° (both default values) in fact accepts 180° on both sides, or 360°, and does not discriminate at all.

distance_measurement

Distance measurement

Now, DataFromSky Viewer users can measure exact distances between two or more points – even if there’s no road. This function is particularly helpful for a traffic engineer. To start using the new distance measuring tool, right click on any point on the image, and select “add point”. Then define another point on the image in the same way, and you will see the distance between them.

The precision depends on the quality of geo-registration procedure, but it is often better than 40 centimeters. The distances are showed in meters. You can also add multiple points to measure distances between them. If you make a mistake, select the point and move it on the right position.

Difference between detected and actual vehicle center

Vehicle center projection

This is not a feature of Viewer, but yet another good news, so here we go! We silently added this in the last months and forgot to mention it. We now project vehicle definition points onto ground. Typically, they lie in the visual center, but not actual vehicle center. This may not seem like much of a difference, but we missed somewhere between 0.2 to 1 meter that way! More importantly, this error is not homogeneous in any practical way, only for vehicles of the same height at the same place. Given that we meticulously correct for perspective and other factors, losing so much precision was not an option – particularly now that we started systematic work on precision and error quantification and improvement.

Improved load and playback speed

Speed is something that one expects naturally from modern computers and software. This is not always possible with lots of visual data, as in our case, but not always impossible either! Now that we are working on (and with) Viewer in earnest, we focused on speed as well. Believe it or not, but sending numbers to show in the old vehicle list turned out to be a drag. Another thing that ended up significantly faster was drawing all the lines, shapes, notes, boxes and texts on top of the video. Apart from this we changed a lot how the Viewer handles video under the hood.

We are confident that you will like how speedy the Viewer turned out, compared to how it was before!

Other

Apart from the visible things, many bugs were fixed.

The default download link is for 64-bit Windows. If you need a 32-bit version, get this one instead.

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