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  1. Collecting massive amounts of image data is a common way to record the post-event condition of buildings, to be used by engineers and researchers to learn from that event. Key information needed to interpret the image data collected during these reconnaissance missions is the location within the building where each image was taken. However, image localization is difficult in an indoor environment, as GPS is not generally available because of weak or broken signals. To support rapid, seamless data collection during a reconnaissance mission, we develop and validate a fully automated technique to provide robust indoor localization while requiring no prior information about the condition or spatial layout of an indoor environment. The technique is meant for large-scale data collection across multiple floors within multiple buildings. A systematic method is designed to separate the reconnaissance data into individual buildings and individual floors. Then, for data within each floor, an optimization problem is formulated to automatically overlay the path onto the structural drawings providing robust results, and subsequently, yielding the image locations. The end-to end technique only requires the data collector to wear an additional inexpensive motion camera, thus, it does not add time or effort to the current rapid reconnaissance protocol. As no prior information about the condition or spatial layout of the indoor environment is needed, this technique can be adapted to a large variety of building environments and does not require any type of preparation in the postevent settings. This technique is validated using data collected from several real buildings. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    Image data remains an important tool for post-event building assessment and documentation. After each natural hazard event, significant efforts are made by teams of engineers to visit the affected regions and collect useful image data. In general, a global positioning system (GPS) can provide useful spatial information for localizing image data. However, it is challenging to collect such information when images are captured in places where GPS signals are weak or interrupted, such as the indoor spaces of buildings. The inability to document the images’ locations hinders the analysis, organization, and documentation of these images as they lack sufficient spatial context. In this work, we develop a methodology to localize images and link them to locations on a structural drawing. A stream of images can readily be gathered along the path taken through a building using a compact camera. These images may be used to compute a relative location of each image in a 3D point cloud model, which is reconstructed using a visual odometry algorithm. The images may also be used to create local 3D textured models for building-components-of-interest using a structure-from-motion algorithm. A parallel set of images that are collected for building assessment is linked to the image stream using time information. By projecting the point cloud model to the structural drawing, the images can be overlaid onto the drawing, providing clear context information necessary to make use of those images. Additionally, components- or damage-of-interest captured in these images can be reconstructed in 3D, enabling detailed assessments having sufficient geospatial context. The technique is demonstrated by emulating post-event building assessment and data collection in a real building. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. After a disaster strikes an urban area, damage to the façades of a building may produce dangerous falling hazards that jeopardize pedestrians and vehicles. Thus, building façades must be rapidly inspected to prevent potential loss of life and property damage. Harnessing the capacity to use new vision sensors and associated sensing platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would expedite this process and alleviate spatial and temporal limitations typically associated with human-based inspection in high-rise buildings. In this paper, we have developed an approach to perform rapid and accurate visual inspection of building façades using images collected from UAVs. An orthophoto corresponding to any reasonably flat region on the building (e.g., a façade or building side) is automatically constructed using a structure-from-motion (SfM) technique, followed by image stitching and blending. Based on the geometric relationship between the collected images and the constructed orthophoto, high-resolution region-of-interest are automatically extracted from the collected images, enabling efficient visual inspection. We successfully demonstrate the capabilities of the technique using an abandoned building of which a façade has damaged building components (e.g., window panes or external drainage pipes). 
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  5. Reconnaissance teams collect perishable data after each disaster to learn about building performance. However, often these large image sets are not adequately curated, nor do they have sufficient metadata (e.g., GPS), hindering any chance to identify images from the same building when collected by different reconnaissance teams. In this study, Siamese convolutional neural networks (S‐CNN) are implemented and repurposed to establish a building search capability suitable for post‐disaster imagery. This method can automatically rank and retrieve corresponding building images in response to a single query using an image. In the demonstration, we utilize real‐world images collected from 174 reinforced‐concrete buildings affected by the 2016 Southern Taiwan and the 2017 Pohang (South Korea) earthquake events. A quantitative performance evaluation is conducted by examining two metrics introduced for this application: Similarity Score (SS) and Similarity Rank (SR). 
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