Interpretable Semantic Photo Geolocation

Jonas Theiner, Eric Müller-Budack, Ralph Ewerth; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2022, pp. 750-760


Planet-scale photo geolocalization is the complex task of estimating the location depicted in an image solely based on its visual content. Due to the success of convolutional neural networks (CNNs), current approaches achieve super-human performance. However, previous work has exclusively focused on optimizing geolocalization accuracy. Due to the black-box property of deep learning systems, their predictions are difficult to validate for humans. State-of-the-art methods treat the task as a classification problem, where the choice of the classes, that is the partitioning of the world map, is crucial for the performance. In this paper, we present two contributions to improve the interpretability of a geolocalization model: (1) We propose a novel semantic partitioning method which intuitively leads to an improved understanding of the predictions, while achieving state-of-the-art results for geolocational accuracy on benchmark test sets; (2) We introduce a metric to assess the importance of semantic visual concepts for a certain prediction to provide additional interpretable information, which allows for a large-scale analysis of already trained models. Source code and dataset are publicly available.

Related Material

@InProceedings{Theiner_2022_WACV, author = {Theiner, Jonas and M\"uller-Budack, Eric and Ewerth, Ralph}, title = {Interpretable Semantic Photo Geolocation}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2022}, pages = {750-760} }