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Journal of Applied Geodesy

Editor-in-Chief: Kahmen, Heribert / Rizos, Chris

CiteScore 2018: 1.61

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.532
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.064

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Volume 2, Issue 1


Photogrammetric fingerprint unwrapping

Gerhard Paar / Maria del Pilar Caballo Perucha / Arnold Bauer / Bernhard Nauschnegg
Published Online: 2008-06-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JAG.2008.002


Fingerprints are important biometric cues. Compared to conventional fingerprint sensors the use of contact-free stereoscopic image acquisition of the front-most finger segment has a set of advantages: Finger deformation is avoided, the entire relevant area for biometric use is covered, some technical aspects like sensor maintenance and cleaning are facilitated, and access to a three-dimensional reconstruction of the covered area is possible.

We describe a photogrammetric workflow for nail-to-nail fingerprint reconstruction: A calibrated sensor setup with typically 5 cameras and dedicated illumination acquires adjacent stereo pairs. Using the silhouettes of the segmented finger a raw cylindrical model is generated. After preprocessing (shading correction, dust removal, lens distortion correction), each individual camera texture is projected onto the model. Image-to-image matching on these pseudo ortho images and dense 3D reconstruction obtains a textured cylindrical digital surface model with radial distances around the major axis and a grid size in the range of 25–50 µm. The model allows for objective fingerprint unwrapping and novel fingerprint matching algorithms since 3D relations between fingerprint features are available as additional cues. Moreover, covering the entire region with relevant fingerprint texture is particularly important for establishing a comprehensive forensic database.

The workflow has been implemented in portable C and is ready for industrial exploitation. Further improvement issues are code optimization, unwrapping method, illumination strategy to avoid highlights and to improve the initial segmentation, and the comparison of the unwrapping result to conventional fingerprint acquisition technology.

Keywords.: Photogrammetry; biometrics; fingerprint unwrapping; 3D fingerprint; fingertip modeling

About the article

Author information: Gerhard Paar, Maria del Pilar Caballo Perucha, Arnold Bauer, Bernhard Nauschnegg, Joanneum Research, Institute of Digital Image Processing, Steyrergasse 17–19, 8010 Graz, Austria. E-mail:

Received: 2007-09-21

Accepted: 2007-11-26

Published Online: 2008-06-27

Published in Print: 2008-04-01

Citation Information: Journal of Applied Geodesy, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 13–20, ISSN (Online) 1862-9024, ISSN (Print) 1862-9016, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JAG.2008.002.

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