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Open AccessArticle

A New Approach to Line Simplification Based on Image Processing: A Case Study of Water Area Boundaries

School of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(2), 41;
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 28 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
PDF [12248 KB, uploaded 30 January 2018]


Line simplification is an important component of map generalization. In recent years, algorithms for line simplification have been widely researched, and most of them are based on vector data. However, with the increasing development of computer vision, analysing and processing information from unstructured image data is both meaningful and challenging. Therefore, in this paper, we present a new line simplification approach based on image processing (BIP), which is specifically designed for raster data. First, the key corner points on a multi-scale image feature are detected and treated as candidate points. Then, to capture the essence of the shape within a given boundary using the fewest possible segments, the minimum-perimeter polygon (MPP) is calculated and the points of the MPP are defined as the approximate feature points. Finally, the points after simplification are selected from the candidate points by comparing the distances between the candidate points and the approximate feature points. An empirical example was used to test the applicability of the proposed method. The results showed that (1) when the key corner points are detected based on a multi-scale image feature, the local features of the line can be extracted and retained and the positional accuracy of the proposed method can be maintained well; and (2) by defining the visibility constraint of geographical features, this method is especially suitable for simplifying water areas as it is aligned with people’s visual habits. View Full-Text
Keywords: line element; simplification; cartographic generalization; water areas; image line element; simplification; cartographic generalization; water areas; image

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Shen, Y.; Ai, T.; He, Y. A New Approach to Line Simplification Based on Image Processing: A Case Study of Water Area Boundaries. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 41.

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