Workflow/Apps for creating street level imagery

While touching up my hometown I’ve constantly had to manually go to places every time I wanted to reference something because the Microsoft provided images are outdated and blurry/unusable since they were taken under bad weather.

My plan is to go out a day or two on which I go around every street and take pictures of anything that might be important to future me, but I have no idea of where to start.

I want an app that can help me navigate (or at least keep track of) a path that goes through my town to automatically+manually take pictures while I walk. I’d then upload them to something like Panoramax or at least reference them with their location data.

The most optimal option I saw was Mapillary, but I really do not like that they’re owned by Facebook now. I’d prefer something fully offline (no account shenanigans) and, out of principle, open source.

TLDR I need pointers for:

  • A way to plan a route through my town hopefully minimizing back-and-forths to scan every street in my town
  • An app I can use on my Android phone to at least automate the taking pictures part. Bonus points for track recording and map/navigation. Some variant of an outdoor fitness tracking app would probably do the trick.

I am not aware of a phone app that will do what you want.

But I do something similar with the dash cam videos from my car. I wrote a blog post about it a number of years back. Basically, use some tools to extract the GPX track from the dash cam videos then use a script to extract still frames for each point on the GPX track and then update the meta data on the still frame to set the lat/lon. I don’t know you level of computer skills, you’d need some scripting to make this work for whatever dash cam you picked.

Unfortunately, the forward view of my dash cam is not ideal for collecting store and business data. From time to time I have considered getting another dash cam and mounting it on one of the side windows of the car. Or mounting it on a bicycle or backpack.

For a more commercial setup, I have read some posts where an OSM mapper used a 360° camera with gps to make their own street view equivalent images. Sounded interesting to me but I did not want to spend the money on such a camera. It has been a few years now and maybe those cameras have come down in price enough for me to reconsider. There is a OSM diary entry about one such setup.