A Wide Area Multiview Static Crowd Estimation System Using UAV and 3D Training Simulator

Shivang Shukla*, Bernard Tiddeman, Helen C. Miles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
121 Downloads (Pure)


Crowd size estimation is a challenging problem, especially when the crowd is spread over a significant geographical area. It has applications in monitoring of rallies and demonstrations and in calculating the assistance requirements in humanitarian disasters. Therefore, accomplishing a crowd surveillance system for large crowds constitutes a significant issue. UAV-based techniques are an appealing choice for crowd estimation over a large region, but they present a variety of interesting challenges, such as integrating per-frame estimates through a video without counting individuals twice. Large quantities of annotated training data are required to design, train, and test such a system. In this paper, we have first reviewed several crowd estimation techniques, existing crowd simulators and data sets available for crowd analysis. Later, we have described a simulation system to provide such data, avoiding the need for tedious and error-prone manual annotation. Then, we have evaluated synthetic video from the simulator using various existing single-frame crowd estimation techniques. Our findings show that the simulated data can be used to train and test crowd estimation, thereby providing a suitable platform to develop such techniques. We also propose an automated UAV-based 3D crowd estimation system that can be used for approximately static or slow-moving crowds, such as public events, political rallies, and natural or man-made disasters. We evaluate the results by applying our new framework to a variety of scenarios with varying crowd sizes. The proposed system gives promising results using widely accepted metrics including MAE, RMSE, Precision, Recall, and F1 score to validate the results.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2780
Number of pages33
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • 3D simulation
  • Crowd estimation
  • Synthetic crowd data
  • Unmanned aerial vehicle


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