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Open AccessArticle

An Efficient Visualization Method for Polygonal Data with Dynamic Simplification

Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment of Ministry of Education, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
College of Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
Department of Geographic Information Science, Chuzhou University, Chuzhou 239000, China
Anhui Engineering Laboratory of Geo-Information Smart Sensing and Services, Chuzhou 239000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(4), 138;
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aspects of Human-Computer Interaction for GIS)
PDF [17028 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


Polygonal data often require rendering with symbolization and simplification in geovisualization. A common issue in existing methods is that simplification, symbolization and rendering are addressed separately, causing computational and data redundancies that reduce efficiency, especially when handling large complex polygonal data. Here, we present an efficient polygonal data visualization method by organizing the simplification, tessellation and rendering operations into a single mesh generalization process. First, based on the sweep line method, we propose a topology embedded trapezoidal mesh data structure to organize the tessellated polygons. Second, we introduce horizontal and vertical generalization operations to simplify the trapezoidal meshes. Finally, we define a heuristic testing algorithm to efficiently preserve the topological consistency. The method is tested using three OpenStreetMap datasets and compared with the Douglas Peucker algorithm and the Binary Line Generalization tree-based method. The results show that the proposed method improves the rendering efficiency by a factor of six. Efficiency-sensitive mapping applications such as emergency mapping could benefit from this method, which would significantly improve their visualization performances. View Full-Text
Keywords: vector polygon; level-of-detail rendering; cartographic simplification; tessellation; trapezoid vector polygon; level-of-detail rendering; cartographic simplification; tessellation; trapezoid

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Wu, M.; Chen, T.; Zhang, K.; Jing, Z.; Han, Y.; Chen, M.; Wang, H.; Lv, G. An Efficient Visualization Method for Polygonal Data with Dynamic Simplification. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 138.

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