Researchers in Brazil have found a way to turn old maps into satellite images with artificial intelligence. This way will serve to take into account the historical context when exploring individual parts of the planet.
Old map images will be converted into satellite images thanks to artificial intelligence
Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Pernambuco have presented an artificial intelligence algorithm that transforms old maps into Google satellite images. According to scientists, this development can inform how people have changed in the world over time. It is expected to provide information about the social and economic consequences of urbanization.
To implement the project, they used an artificial intelligence tool called Pix2pix, based on two artificial neural networks. The first creates images according to the input set and the second network decides whether the generated image is real or not. The networks will then be trained to deceive each other and ultimately create realistic images based on historical data provided.
The researchers describe their approach in a study published in the journal Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. In this work, they took 1808 maps of Recife (Brazil) and created modern images of the area.
“When you look at these images, you better understand how the city has changed in 200 years,” the scientists explain. “The geography of the city has changed dramatically. Dumps have reduced water bodies and green spaces have disappeared as a result of human activity. ” they ended their words.
The advantage of this approach to artificial intelligence is that it requires relatively little data input, but data entry includes historical records and the resulting image resolution is lower than the researchers would like.
“We will then work on improving image resolution and experimenting with different inputs,” said one of the researchers. Scientists hope that their improvements could be implemented by urban planners, anthropologists and historians.