Johannes Schöning

Novel Ways of Scenic Route Generation using Deep Learning

Navigation systems typically assists drivers to find the shortest or fastest path between two or multiple locations mostly using time or distance as input parameters. Various researchers extended traditional route planning approaches by taking into account the user’s preferences, such as enjoying a coastal view or alpine landscapes during a drive. Current approaches mainly rely on volunteered geographic information (VGI), such as point of interest (POI) data from OpenStreetMap, or social media data, such as geotagged photos from Flickr, to generate scenic routes. While these approaches use proximity, distribution or other spatial relationships of the data sets, they do not take into account the actual view on specific route segments. In my talk I will highlight a novel system for generating scenic routes using Google Street View images to classify route segments based on their visual characteristics enhancing the driving experience. Our automated system named Autobahn crawls GSV images alongside routes and tags and classifies these images using deep learning. I will show that this vision-based approach can complement other approaches for scenic route planning and introduce a personalized scenic route by aligning the characteristics of the route to the preferences of the user. In addition, I will highlight the application potentials and impact of our approach for further spatial problems.

Johannes Schöning is a professor of computer science at Hasselt University working at the Expertise centre for Digital Media (EDM). His core research area is situated in the area of human-computer interaction (HCI) with strong links to the field of intelligent user interfaces (IUI) and aims to improve interactions by combining methods from computer vision (CV) and artificial intelligence (AI). In general, he designs, implements and evaluates user interfaces that help people to solve daily tasks more enjoyable and/ or effectively. This includes the development of mobile augmented reality applications, interactive surfaces and tabletops and other “post desktop” interfaces. His research and work was awarded with several prizes and awards, such as the ACM Eugene Lawler Award, a Vodafone Research Award for his PhD, and two Google Research Awards.

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