Topoplogy Based Large Scale Indoor/Outdoor Geo-Navigation for Mobile Platforms Guided by GIS and BIM

A novel way to complete navigation with a GPS enabled device without maintianing a consistent signal

The Need

Mobile devices with GPS systems are seeing increase in use over the last decade, it is not hard to say that geo‐localization and navigation have become important aspects of our lives. GPS is limited in certain settings where the signal is degraded or blocked such as city centers with high‐rise buildings or inside buildings. Another issue with GPS signal is that it uses low power, meaning that it can easily be jammed causing problems in military operations. The prevalence of GPS enabled devices will not diminish nor will user demand for better coverage and reliability. A solution is needed that allows a device to navigate without relying entirely on a consistent GPS signal.

The Technology

Dr. Alper Yilmaz and his colleagues at The Ohio State University have developed a novel way for a GPS enabled system to navigate with a consistent signal. The invention uses several sources of information at its disposal. The first on of these is the multi‐layered GIS data available through map sources such as Open Street Maps or Building Information Models (BIM). The nodes and the layers in the GIS data provide information for localization and navigation. The second source of input is a subset of sensors on the mobile platform, including but not limited to camera, Inertial Measurement Unit, Accelerators, and Barometer. The system uses the available sensory data for recovering relative trajectory of the mobile device carried by a human or installed on a platform. The trajectory is registered by the multi‐ layered GIS data to compute candidate geo‐locations within the provided GIS data of indoor or outdoor. The candidates are pruned based on temporal motion and relations of layered GIS to obtained sensory data. During the process, the system generates a list of potential routes that the mobile device can move towards and solves a navigation problem to reach a defined destination.

Commercial Applications

  • Mobile phones
  • Handheld GPS units
  • Vehicle based GPS systems


  • Allows user to complete GPS navigation without a consistent GPS signal
  • Workaround for jammed GPS signal in military applications

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