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The database for this project consists of two core components. One is the vehicle annotation database that we constructed, which we call NYC3DCars. The second is a database that consists of pre-processed geographic data from sources such as NYC OpenData, OpenStreetMap, and USGS. This section will describe a few of the important characteristics of the NYC3DCars dataset.


  • id - Internal photo id.
  • filename - Corresponds to filename in separately distributed photo sets (see for a download link).
  • cameramake, cameramodel, focallength, etc. - Extracted from camera EXIF metadata.
  • focal, k1, k2, t1...t3, r11...r33 - Bundler output with georegistration. See for more details.
  • lla - Geographic location of camera center.
  • geom - Camera frustum projected onto ground (polygon).
  • test - Can either be true, false, or null. If null, the photo has not yet been annotated. If true, then the photo is to be used for testing purposes. If false, then the photo is to be used for training or cross validation purposes.
  • dataset_id - A separate table contains translation correction factors derived from how users adjusted the ground plane when annotating photos. This is only applicable for the Times Square dataset at the moment. We will compute similar values for the other datasets shortly.
  • daytime - True means day, false means night, null means not yet annotated.


  • id - Interval vehicle id.
  • pid - Interval photo id.
  • x1, y1, x2, y2 - 2D bounding box. Values span [0,1] and image coordinates are x1*width, y1*height, etc. x1 is left and y1 is top.
  • occlusion - An integer indicating labeled occlusion level. 0 is unoccluded.
  • view_theta, view_phi - The estimated viewpoint of the vehicle.
  • geom - 2D footprint of the vehicle on the ground.
  • lla - Geographic point in the horizontal center and vertical bottom of the vehicle.
  • type_id - A separate table contains the set of vehicles we gave annotators and this value references those.

The second part of the database, the geodatabase, is more complex and we recommend reading to see how we use it. There is a lot of data that we did not use from it, so explore the database to find out more.


PostgreSQL and PostGIS are both required for these scripts. If you're using a recent version of Ubuntu, then installing PostgreSQL is as simple as

sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.1

However, you should probably use this special PPA to install PostGIS, which can be done by running

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ppa

and then do

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install postgis

Updating before installing postgis is important. Otherwise, it will install the wrong package.

If you're going to use the script, then make a PostgreSQL user with the same username as your current user. If you just recently installed PostgreSQL from Ubuntu's repository, then there's a default user named postgres. Execute the following, granting super user privileges when prompted.

sudo -u postgres createuser <username>

Included in this repository is a requirements.txt that can be used to install necessary python packages using pip and virtualenv.

sudo apt-get install libgdal-dev python-virtualenv python-dev libatlas-base-dev build-essential gfortran
mkdir venv
virtualenv --no-site-packages venv
. venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

Everytime you want to execute scripts using this environment, you will have to execute

. venv/bin/activate

and when you want to stop using the environment, execute


I have a couple projects that are necessary to run this code. I'll get these registered with pypi so that you can install them with pip, but for now, clone the respositories and execute:

python build
python install
Pydro is an implementation of the deformable part model in C and Python. The detection routines are functionally equivalent to Pedro Felzenszwalb's voc-release5 and the training procedure is still in development. Right now it offers a slight performance improvement on some examples and is somewhat easier to integrate into a larger system.
Pygeo is a collection of transformations for working with geographic data. In particular it can convert between Earth-Center Earth-Fixed (ECEF) cartesian coordinates and WGS84 ellipsoidal latitude, longitude, and altitude as well as get a local East-North-Up rotation matrix for a particular latitude and longitude.

GDAL is probably going to complain when you install it with pip. Here's a workaround that I use.

pip install --no-install GDAL
cd venv/build/GDAL/
python build_ext --include-dirs=/usr/include/gdal
pip install --no-download GDAL
cd -

Of course, you need not follow these directions exactly if you're familiar with how to build and install python packages. This is just one setup that I think is easy to achieve for those who are not familiar.


I usually run the script with the --remote flag with to distribute the computation on a cluster. If you don't supply this flag, it will run everything with one thread. Even if you don't want to run the testing protocol on a cluster, I still recommend remote mode to enable parallel computation. It only takes a couple of steps to get working. One is to use a Celery backend. I use RabbitMQ. Instructions on installing RabbitMQ for Ubuntu can be found here The second step is to run a celery worker on each node. I've supplied an example To run a worker, execute

celery worker -l info -c <concurrency>

On a 16 core node with hyperthreading, I use a concurrency level of 28 (I leave some spaaace for the postgres process). Note, the following config line is very necessary for correct operation with my code. Otherwise, celery will fork, but not exec, the connections to the database will be shared, and messages will be clobbered.


The testing procedure is built like a pipeline. There are three stages represented by the following scripts:

  • - Runs the DPM, gathers detections, computes 3D vehicle poses, and logs them to the database.
  • - Uses scoring methods defined in to compute additional detections scores related to geographic data.
  • - Runs non-maxima suppression to get the final set of detections.

Each of these scripts can be run individually on specific photos or the script can be used to execute the entire pipeline for all photos in a particular dataset. is used to compute precision/orientation similarity and recall curves and is used to compute 3D pose localization error. alpha