SEGMENTATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL TIME LAPSE IMAGE SEQUENCES FOR THE DETERMINATION OF SHORE LINES CAPTURED BY HAND-HELD SMARTPHONE CAMERAS
Keywords: Flood monitoring, Geo-crowdsourcing, Spatio-temporal texture, Time lapse image analysis, Smartphone application
Abstract. The relevance of globally environmental issues gains importance since the last years with still rising trends. Especially disastrous floods may cause in serious damage within very short times. Although conventional gauging stations provide reliable information about prevailing water levels, they are highly cost-intensive and thus just sparsely installed. Smartphones with inbuilt cameras, powerful processing units and low-cost positioning systems seem to be very suitable wide-spread measurement devices that could be used for geo-crowdsourcing purposes. Thus, we aim for the development of a versatile mobile water level measurement system to establish a densified hydrological network of water levels with high spatial and temporal resolution. This paper addresses a key issue of the entire system: the detection of running water shore lines in smartphone images. Flowing water never appears equally in close-range images even if the extrinsics remain unchanged. Its non-rigid behavior impedes the use of good practices for image segmentation as a prerequisite for water line detection. Consequently, we use a hand-held time lapse image sequence instead of a single image that provides the time component to determine a spatio-temporal texture image. Using a region growing concept, the texture is analyzed for immutable shore and dynamic water areas. Finally, the prevalent shore line is examined by the resultant shapes. For method validation, various study areas are observed from several distances covering urban and rural flowing waters with different characteristics. Future work provides a transformation of the water line into object space by image-to-geometry intersection.