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An effective spherical panoramic LoD model for a mobile street view service

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Street view (panoramic view) services have begun to shift from PC platforms to mobile smart devices. Considering the capabilities of smart terminal devices, a 360° spherical level of detail (LoD) model for mobile street view services that renders panoramic images on the inner surface of a sphere via LoD is proposed in this article. Panoramic images are segmented into tiles and organized in a pyramid tile structure for LoD rendering to improve the rendering efficiency of the proposed model. A projection model between panoramic images and the spherical surface is presented to map the panoramic tiles on the spherical graticule. A street view‐rendering algorithm of panoramic images is proposed with the rendering function of OpenGL for Embedded Systems (OpenGL ES). A street view service app running on Android, based on the proposed approach, is implemented to assess two aspects of the panoramic view model, namely visualization effect and efficiency. Experiment results reveal that the 360° spherical LoD model of the panoramic image can display 3D street view scenes better than the cubic panoramic view model. The proposed model also has an excellent 3D visualization effect and high‐efficiency rendering ability for mobile street view services. Therefore, it is applicable in large‐scale mobile street view services both online and offline and in augmented reality navigation.