The necessity to divide the analysed area into basic elements, regardless of the administrative division (cells or pixels, also called primary fields), and use them to prepare thematic maps emerged as early as by the end of the 19th century. The automation of map development processes brought a new approach to the function of cells, which made them a carrier that facilitates information processing, and presenting the results of analyses in the form of studies that very often function only in spatial information systems or on the Internet. Cells are currently used to conduct a series of advanced spatial analyses in practically all areas of application. The aim of the presented research was to analyse the influence of the shape and size of cells on the terrain classification results for the purposes of developing military passability maps. The research used the automatic terrain classification method, based on calculating the index of passability, calculated for cells of square, triangular, and hexagonal shapes and of different sizes, ranging from 100 m to 10,000 m. Indices of passability were determined basing on parameters derived from land cover elements that exist in the area of each of the adopted cells. Because of the fact that passability maps are mainly developed for military purposes, the study used a standardised vector spatial database—VMap Level 2. The studies have demonstrated that, if the surface areas of cells are identical, their shapes do not have a significant influence on the resulting passability map. The authors have also determined the sizes of cells that should be adopted for developing passability maps on various levels of accuracy, and, as a consequence, for being used on various levels of command of military troops.
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