Effects of automated cartographic generalization on linear map features

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Virginia Tech

The process of automated cartographic generalization is critically reviewed, and methods developed for implementation and analysis are discussed. The manner in which automated generalization relates to manual cartographic methods and feature representation is analyzed. It is suggested that the nature of representation of linear features on maps be considered in the analysis of effectiveness of automated generalization.

The development of a computer platform for evaluating linear generalization algorithms is described and three studies which make use of the platform are discussed. An analysis of the performance of five simplification algorithms is compared to performance of a random simplification algorithm. It was found that in most cases tested, the five simplification algorithms performed better than random. An analysis of the stability of fractal dimension estimated on simplified lines was conducted and it is suggested that the fractal dimension is a poor guide for linear simplification due the instability in measurement. An examination of the effect of generalization on linear features as represented by contoured topography and paired stream bank lines was performed. Through the use of measurements of slope on contour lines and width on stream lines, it was determined that automated generalization has an effect on linear feature representations. Guidelines for application of linear generalization algorithms are suggested and needs and direction for future research are discussed.