Worldwide Geo-localization aims to pinpoint the precise location of images taken anywhere on Earth. This task has considerable challenges due to immense variation in geographic landscapes. The image-to-image retrieval-based approaches fail to solve this problem on a global scale as it is not feasible to construct a large gallery of images covering the entire world. Instead, existing approaches divide the globe into discrete geographic cells, transforming the problem into a classification task. However, their performance is limited by the predefined classes and often results in inaccurate localizations when an image's location significantly deviates from its class center. To overcome these limitations, we propose GeoCLIP, a novel CLIP-inspired Image-to-GPS retrieval approach that enforces alignment between the image and its corresponding GPS locations. GeoCLIP's location encoder models the Earth as a continuous function by employing positional encoding through random Fourier features and constructing a hierarchical representation that captures information at varying resolutions to yield a semantically rich high-dimensional feature suitable to use even beyond geo-localization. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work employing GPS encoding for geo-localization. We demonstrate the efficacy of our method via extensive experiments and ablations on benchmark datasets. We achieve competitive performance with just 20% of training data, highlighting its effectiveness even in limited-data settings. Furthermore, we qualitatively demonstrate geo-localization using a text query by leveraging CLIP backbone of our image encoder.
Determining the exact latitude and longitude that a photo was taken is a useful and widely applicable task, yet it remains exceptionally difficult despite the accelerated progress of other computer vision tasks. Most previous approaches have opted to learn a single representation of query images, which are then classified at different levels of geographic granularity. These approaches fail to exploit the different visual cues that give context to different hierarchies, such as the country, state, and city level. To this end, we introduce an end-to-end transformer-based architecture that exploits the relationship between different geographic levels (which we refer to as hierarchies) and the corresponding visual scene information in an image through hierarchical cross-attention. We achieve this by learning a query for each geographic hierarchy and scene type. Furthermore, we learn a separate representation for different environmental scenes, as different scenes in the same location are often defined by completely different visual features. We achieve state of the art street level accuracy on 4 standard geo-localization datasets : Im2GPS, Im2GPS3k, YFCC4k, and YFCC26k, as well as qualitatively demonstrate how our method learns different representations for different visual hierarchies and scenes, which has not been demonstrated in the previous methods. These previous testing datasets mostly consist of iconic landmarks or images taken from social media, which makes them either a memorization task, or biased towards certain places. To address this issue we introduce a much harder testing dataset, Google-World-Streets-15k, comprised of images taken from Google Streetview covering the whole planet and present state of the art results. Our code will be made available in the camera-ready version.