Images from the rain

I live in southwest BC and drive in the pacific northwest of the US. Rain is a fact of life here, where some years off-leaf aerial imagery can’t be flown because it’s cloudy the entire off-leaf season.

If I don’t upload pictures taken in the rain, there will be many roads without any pictures. It can take 2-6 trips between Vancouver and Seattle to luck out and get a section of road without rain in some parts of the year. This won’t affect me since I use my photos from a local drive instead of Mapillary, but it will result in coverage gaps.

A typical photo from light rain is

Heavy rain from driving on the highway at speed is more like

. The overall greyness and reduced visibility isn’t from rain on the camera, it’s from rain in the air. Post-processing can improve this.

My camera is a roof-mounted Garmin Virb XE. Mounting inside the car doesn’t help much. The windscreen still has the rain, just as bad, and the increased distance from the lens to the drops makes them more visible. On top of that, about 20% of shots have a wiper blade in them and with how I process my images, those would get uploaded too.

So, am I better off uploading sequences with rainy images or not?


I would stop image capturing and restart if it is dry again and picture is mostly good visible.
You/others can redo the missing parts of track later on.
One day ™ mapillary will filter out bad images for sure.


There have been similar discussions before, that all come down to “I have some low quality pictures, should I upload them?” the conclusion is always that low quality pictures is better than no pictures.
And don’t forget that Mapillary is a computer vision company, so one day they will make a algorithm that hides the bad pictures in favour of high quality pictures.

Thank you, @de_vries. I was thinking of that too.

@pnorman, there are benefits to quality. I would think the question is just how bad the photos gets for us before it’s not good. Do you have a highway / freeway sequence from when it’s raining?

I too am guilty of mapping in the rain.
I have just 30 hours here in completely un mapped Hillsboro Wisconsin.
It is raining.
I’ll come back and do better later.

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