With Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro, you can use data from street-level imagery on Mapillary, whether contributed by yourself or the rest of our community. In this tutorial we will go over the following:
- Getting started
- Viewing imagery
- Viewing, creating, and editing data
- Advanced features—comparing how places change in time
Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro is an add-in for ArcGIS Pro, which works similarly to any Esri Extension. The add-in consists of a single Esri AddInX file (.esriAddInX) and should be placed in a folder where you typically will store your other add-in files. If this is your first add-in, it is suggested that you create an add-in folder.
In order to use Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro, please ensure you meet the system requirements of ArcGIS Pro 2.0 higher:
- To get started with Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro, download the add-in.
- Create an add-in folder in a local directory, for example: C:/users/me/documents/ArcGIS Pro 2.0/addins.
- Double-click the add-in file to install it.
- Open ArcGIS Pro.
- Click the blue Project tab.
- Click Add-in Manager, then Options.
- Click Add Folder… and add the directory where your add-in file is stored.
- Click the blue Project tab.
- Click Licensing and scroll down to External Extensions.
- Put a check in Enabled next to Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro.
- An authentication window will open; sign in with your existing Mapillary account.
- Authorize the add-in to access your account.
- Click the back arrow in the top left corner.
- Add a new map to your project.
- Click the Mapillary tab on the top menu bar to access Mapillary ribbons.
Once you’ve installed the add-in and opened a new project, you can add Mapillary coverage tiles to your map. These vector tiles are generated from the Mapillary database and show the location of images (points) and sequences of multiple, connected images (lines) across the globe. You can add this to your map for reference by clicking the Mapillary tab, then clicking Toggle Coverage.
Upon activating the coverage layer, you will see points and lines load in your map project window in Mapillary green. The color of these tiles can’t be adjusted, but if they are in the way of your work you can simply toggle them off again by clicking the same button.
Next, you can select an image to view by clicking Select Image. While this button is toggled on, your cursor will become a crosshair with which you can target a specific green point on the map and load the respective image. Upon clicking a point on the map, the image will load in a Mapillary content pane. You can adjust the size of this pane and undock it to position it as you require.
On the map, you’ll notice that the sequence to which the selected image belongs now appears in blue. This shows where you can navigate within the sequence, but it isn’t your only option. You can also navigate to other photos nearby that aren’t part of this particular sequence.
Navigation consists of two sets of controls.
- Sequence navigation moves to the next or previous image in the sequence or allows you to play or pause the sequence, using the buttons at the top of the image display pane:
- Spatial navigation moves to the nearest image in the direction indicated by the arrows overlaid at the bottom of the image, and also allows rotation of your position to the left, right, or reverse:
As you navigate, the location icon on the map will change positions, as well as change its bearing (camera and compass angle) to indicate the street-level perspective:
In addition, there is a matching compass and camera angle indicator in the image display pane, with a vertical white line indicating North:
At the bottom of the image display pane, you can also see the credit to the user who captured the image, as well as a link to view the image on mapillary.com:
Clicking the username @chrisbeddow will open the user’s profile on mapillary.com, so you can see other uploads from that user, while the mapillary.com link opens the image itself.
The second way of viewing images is to use the Looking At tool, which allows you to click on the map and see which images look towards the selected location.
Toggling this tool on also gives a crosshair selector. For example, we can navigate to Los Angeles, California, and find images that look at Dodger Stadium. Mapillary estimates the best and nearest image and loads it in the image viewer. Meanwhile, the map will show multiple photos that are close to the location.
In this case, we can see that multiple images are located inside the actual stadium. To browse the closest available images, use the arrows at the top right of the image viewing pane, which will lead you to find the best view for your needs:
The map will display a green marker indicating where you clicked, as well as a blue marker with a camera angle indicating the currently displayed image, and green markers with camera angles indicating the other images looking at your selected location:
Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro enables you to not only view images in an area of interest to you but also compare existing images to your point feature layers. In addition, you can add new point features to your existing feature layers and delete existing points.
In both the viewing case and the creating/editing case, you’ll need an existing feature class. This can be a feature class that already contains points, such as a third party dataset, or and want to populate with point features. This feature class will display on the map as a feature layer, but will also display as markers in the image viewer pane at the corresponding location when enabled.
Viewing your data
To enable viewing your point feature layer as markers in the image, you’ll need to toggle on the placement tools by clicking the marker icon at the top left of the image viewing pane:
Next, you will need to select which layer you’d like to view in the images, using the drop-down box at the top center of the image viewing pane:
Once you have toggled the Mapillary coverage layer on, toggled the placement tools on, and selected the layer, you will see red points depicting the feature layer. In the Mapillary image viewing pane you will see these markers in their approximate location in the image.
The marker location in the image can vary according to the accuracy of the GPS that was used with the user’s camera. For example, a marker on a street corner in the image may correspond to a point feature that is offset from the street corner on a map, considering the GPS may not have the precision to the centimeter level.
To get a view of specific points, use the Select Image tool to choose an image near your point data. You’ll see the camera angle of the chosen image and can navigate around to ensure it points directly at your feature to get a view of the marker in the image viewing pane. Remember that you can navigate through the chosen sequence, highlighted in blue, which will ensure you maintain the same perspective. You can also use the spatial navigation to move to other nearby images that may offer a different angle.
You can also look at a specific point feature by using the Looking At tool. Toggle the tool on, then click on the point feature you’d like to see. The result will place a green point on top of your selected feature and attempt to show the best image that looks towards this direction. Keep in mind that the tool won’t recognize if buildings are in the way, but instead focuses on proximity and camera angle. If the first image doesn’t show your point, try using the arrows at the top right to browse other images looking at your feature, or use the spatial or sequence navigation to move to another nearby point of view.
Editing your data
With the placement tools enabled, you can also begin to move the locations of your point features. Notice as your cursor moves across the image, a green shadow indicates the approximate location of the ground. You can use this to estimate where you’d like to move your point. Click and hold on the point to begin moving it, and drag it to change its location. Be sure to click on the circle inside the marker for the best response, as clicking outside the circle can cause you to pan your perspective in the image instead. You can also click and drag the point on the map while using the ArcGIS Pro edit tab, and its change in position will be reflected in the image viewing pane. Remember to toggle off the Looking At or Select Image tools before attempting to move features on the map, so the viewing tools don’t interfere with your editing.
If you move the point up and down, it will adjust its depth closer or further away, while left and right adjusts horizontal position. The altitude, or z-index, of the point cannot be adjusted as all points are assumed to be at ground level. This does not prevent your point data from still having an altitude attribute, but simply means it isn’t reflected in the Mapillary image viewing pane.
Creating new data
To add a point to your selected feature layer, use the green shadow on the ground as a reference and simply click on the image. A new marker will appear. You can then click and drag this marker as needed to improve its placement. Alternatively, you can add a new point feature by using the ArcGIS Pro edit toolbar and adding it to the map, and it will appear in the image if the image is looking at the point location. Remember to toggle off the Looking At or Select Image tools before attempting to pan the map or click and add features to the map, or they will interfere with your map editing.
Deleting your data
To delete a point feature, you will need to use the ArcGIS Pro editing toolbar. You can select the feature to delete by either clicking the point feature on the map and then clicking Delete in the editing toolbar, or by clicking the circle inside the marker in the image, then again clicking the Delete button in the ArcGIS Pro editing toolbar.
Saving your edits
After adding new features, moving the position of your features, or deleting features, be sure to click Save in the ArcGIS Pro editing toolbar.
Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro also allows you to use the Time Travel tool, which will detect if a selected image has counterpart images from another user and/or another date in approximately the same position and showing the same scene. To activate this tool, click the clock icon next to the placement tools icon:
You will see a drop-down box appear at the top center of the image viewing pane. This box will indicate the date of the current image:
If time travel is available between your current image and others, the drop-down box will show the dates of similar images:
When you’ve selected an alternative image to compare, a slider will appear at the bottom of the image. Drag this slider from right to left to pan between the two images, or select a different image from the drop-down box to do the same:
While the images most often won’t line up exactly, they will match the same scene and give you an idea of the landscape changes over time. This can be useful for adding point features that indicate changes in the landscape or infrastructure. This simple tool relies on your exploration of existing imagery to find comparisons, so try it in many locations while using the Mapillary coverage tiles as a reference for where overlapping images may exist.