In map generalization, scale reduction and feature symbolization inevitably generate problems of overlapping objects or map congestion. To solve the legibility problem with respect to the generalization of dispersed rural buildings, selection of buildings is necessary and can be transformed into an optimization problem. In this paper, an improved genetic algorithm for building selection is designed to be able to incorporate cartographic constraints related to the building selection problem. Part of the local constraints for building selection is used to constrain the encoding and genetic operation. To satisfy other local constraints, a preparation phase is necessary before building selection, which includes building enlargement, local displacement, conflict detection, and attribute enrichment. The contextual constraints are used to ascertain a fitness function. The experimental results indicate that the algorithm proposed in this article can obtain good results for building selection whilst preserving the spatial distribution characteristics of buildings.
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