How to capture
Your task is to capture sequences of images—that is what enables our technology to do 3D reconstructions and collect useful geospatial data from the images. The easiest way to start capturing your own images is to use your mobile phone, but you can also use an action camera or 360° camera. If you have not installed the Mapillary App, get it for free in App Store or Google Play.
You can capture images while walking, cycling, or driving. The main point when capturing is to keep on moving and to try and hold the camera itself still. Point the camera in the direction of travel and take many images (more than 10) in one sequence.
This video explains more about how to capture images: https://youtu.be/CFoqohHSZjM
5 basic rules for capturing:
- The main point when capturing is to keep on moving and to try and hold the camera itself still.
- Mapillary supports images in landscape orientation. Adjust the camera to be level with the horizon (the Mapillary apps have tilt lines on the camera screen to help with that).
- Normally you aim the camera towards the direction of movement, where the road in front of you meets the horizon.
- The ideal environment for a Mapillary sequence is to have the sun behind you, minimal traffic and fewer people about.
- Take many images in one sequence (at least 10, but more is better) and in close proximity to each other (5 m is good)
What to capture and not capture
With Mapillary you capture sequences of geotagged street-level images anywhere you want.
Try to get clean, unobstructed views on the street level that show:
- Streets, bike paths, pedestrian paths (in the direction of the road/path)
- Buildings (front facade view)
- Views (anything noteworthy or interesting about a place)
- Squares, parks and open areas
Most times, taking images in the direction you are moving, of the road in front of you, is the best view. In some cases, a side view can be more interesting. You decide. There is no limit on the level of detail, you can take as many images as you like.
You shouldn't go higher than a few meters. Mapillary is not meant for aerial imagery.
We want to protect the privacy and integrity of our fellow neighbors. Avoid taking images with lots of people in them. Definitely, avoid images where you can clearly identify people.
We are continuously improving our algorithms to automatically detect faces and license plates to blur them, and to give you the possibility to delete and flag images. Mapillary reserves the right to remove any questionable content.
- Close-ups of people
- Close-ups of private property through fences etc.
- Private and restricted areas (unless they are your own and you really want to share them)
- Military and other sensitive areas
- Sensitive situations (e.g. an accident scene or other content that may be disturbing to other people)
- Aerial images—Mapillary is a platform for street-level imagery
- Avoid capturing in the rain and in low-light situations. The images will turn out much worse than what you see with the human eye (this particularly applies when you're in a car).
- Keep a consistent angle of the camera. Most times you would keep it pointing straight ahead, although sometimes you may want to capture e.g. at a 90- or 45-degree angle with respect to your direction of moving. If you change the camera angle mid-capture, the sequences will end up looking jumpy and "dizzy".
- If you keep or mount the camera steady, you can lock the compass angle to the direction your device is pointing, instead of using the device's compass that might be affected by disturbances. There's a little arrow or compass icon at the top right of the app's Capture screen for changing that this setting.
- Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth to save battery while you capture. You might want to use a power bank (or a phone charger, if in a car) for extra power supply.
- For longer capture sessions, consider extra micro-SD cards to expand the memory available for capture (if your device supports it).