A series of panoramic images are usually used to generate a 720° panorama image. Although panoramic images are typically used for establishing tour guiding systems, in this research, we demonstrate the potential of using panoramic images acquired from multiple sites to create not only 720° panorama, but also three-dimensional (3D) point clouds and 3D indoor models. Since 3D modeling is one of the goals of this research, the location of the panoramic sites needed to be carefully planned in order to maintain a robust result for close-range photogrammetry. After the images are acquired, panoramic images are processed into 720° panoramas, and these panoramas which can be used directly as panorama guiding systems or other applications. In addition to these straightforward applications, interior orientation parameters can also be estimated while generating 720° panorama. These parameters are focal length, principle point, and lens radial distortion. The panoramic images can then be processed with closerange photogrammetry procedures to extract the exterior orientation parameters and generate 3D point clouds. In this research, VisaulSFM, a structure from motion software is used to estimate the exterior orientation, and CMVS toolkit is used to generate 3D point clouds. Next, the 3D point clouds are used as references to create building interior models. In this research, Trimble Sketchup was used to build the model, and the 3D point cloud was added to the determining of locations of building objects using plane finding procedure. In the texturing process, the panorama images are used as the data source for creating model textures. This 3D indoor model was used as an Augmented Reality model replacing a guide map or a floor plan commonly used in an on-line touring guide system.
The 3D indoor model generating procedure has been utilized in two research projects: a cultural heritage site at Kinmen, and Taipei Main Station pedestrian zone guidance and navigation system. The results presented in this paper demonstrate the potential of using panoramic images to generate 3D point clouds and 3D models. However, it is currently a manual and labor-intensive process. A research is being carried out to Increase the degree of automation of these procedures.