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PhD in Augmented Reality based Navigation and Mapping for Pedestrians

   Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

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  Dr Jan Boehm  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Ref: 1886256

UCL Department / Division

Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

Location of position


Duration of Studentship

4 Years


The PhD is a 4-year fully funded position (tuition and a stipend at the Research Council rate)

Vacancy Information

Applicants are sought for an exciting PhD studentship with University College London (UCL) and Ordnance Survey. The project aims to enhance geospatial capabilities in the field of pedestrian navigation as well as drive augmented reality and machine learning technology. The research will challenge the way mobile devices and AR technology are used in conjunction with geospatial data.

Studentship Description

Leading tech companies are investing in smartphone based augmented reality such as AR Kit and AR Core. They are also integrating advanced sensors in mobile phones, such as 3D LiDAR technology. This technology is primarily focussed on gamified AR with limited specifications for globally consistent 3D representations of the environment. While these are exciting technologies to work with, there remains scope for enhancing navigation in dense urban environments. The proposed PhD will develop a framework to fuse smartphone AR technology with high-quality geospatial data to aid pedestrian urban navigation. This PhD will look at opportunities particular in the following areas: 

  • Using existing mapping products to ensure globally consistent 3D representations of the environment
  • Establishing suitable long-term persistent landmarks
  • Integrating existing OS POI data into the AR system
  • Automatically generating new POI data from phone video using Deep Learning technology

The project is a collaboration with Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency for Great Britain which records and keeps 500 million geospatial features up to date in their mapping products. This PhD builds on UCL Geomatics’ established research expertise in robust pedestrian navigation technology using GNSS and signals of opportunity; 3D point cloud generation and processing; Object recognition from point clouds and imagery and geospatial data analysis. We can leverage this expertise to establish a test bed for pedestrian navigation in London.

Person Specification

A successful applicant is expected to have completed an excellent University degree in Geomatic Engineering, Computer Science, or a related field. The applicant should have a strong background in at least one of the following areas: geomatics, photogrammetry, computer vision, navigation, augmented reality, machine learning.

Eligibility – Home/Overseas

To be eligible for fees at the UK rate, you must normally be a national of the UK (or in specified cases the family member of a UK national), be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your programme and have been ordinarily resident within the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the specified British overseas territories or the Channel Islands/Isle of Man (the “Islands”) for the three year period before the first day of the first academic year of your programme.

Applicants should send a covering letter and CV to Jan Boehm ([Email Address Removed])

The successful applicant will then have to apply online to UCL by submitting the PhD application form available via Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering MPhil/PhD | UCL Graduate degrees - UCL – University College London.  Please name Jan Boehm & James Haworth as the proposed supervisor. 

Contact name

Dr Jan Boehm

Contact details

[Email Address Removed]

Closing Date

30 June 2022

Intevview date


Studentship Start Date

1 October 2022

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