Google’s AI turns thousands of tourist photos into 3D renderings

A team of researchers at Google have used artificial intelligence (AI) to turn thousands of wildly varying tourist photos into very detailed and accurate 3D renderings of famous landmarks. It makes you wonder if this will be the future of 3D mapping with drones…

Google’s AI turns thousands of tourist photos into 3D renderings

Google researchers have found a way to turn thousands of tourist photos that vary wildly in terms of lighting and include people and cars into very detailed and accurate 3D renderings of famous locations such as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, , Sacre Coeur in Paris, , and the Trevi Fountain, .

Google'S Ai Turns Thousands Of Tourist Photos Into 3D Renderings 1

The technology is called NeRF in the Wild or NeRF-W. Wild stands for the “unstructured and uncontrolled photo collections” such as thousands of tourist photos that were used for the demo video below. NeRF stands for Google Brain’s Neural Radiance Fields. Google’s AI is an advanced, neural network-driven interpolation that uses geometric information from the scene while at the same time removing ‘transient occluders’ like people or cars and smoothing out changes in lighting, according to PetaPixel.

“While [standard] NeRF works well on images of static subjects captured under controlled settings, it is incapable of modeling many ubiquitous, real-world phenomena in uncontrolled images, such as variable illumination or transient occluders,” reads the full research paper. “In this work, we introduce a series of extensions to NeRF to address these issues, thereby allowing for accurate reconstructions from unstructured image collections taken from the internet.”

The result is quite amazing as you can see in the video. It makes me wonder if this could be the future for 3D modeling with aerial photos taken by drones.

You can learn more about Google’s AI by watching the video or by visiting the NeRF-W GitHub or this research paper.

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Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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