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Google open sources 3D mapping library

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Google has announced that it is open sourcing its library for mapping movement in 2D and 3D. Called Cartographer, the library offers real-time simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) with open source robot operating system (ROS) support.

Cartographer opens endless possibilities of deployment of software systems for robots, drones and self-driving cars. It is already powering the backbone technology of popular project Roomba vacuum. Also, the open source project uses various hardware sensors combined with a camera to map your home as robot cleans the floor.

“Cartographer builds globally consistent maps in real-time across a broad range of sensor configurations common in academia and industry,” the Google engineering team wrote in a blog post.

While the current version of Cartographer is heavily focused on LIDAR SLAM, Google is hoping for community support to enable it across various sensors and platforms. Also, the company is sharing a large number of insights on 2D and 3D LIDAR and IMU data used by its backpack platform to expand its existence.