The identification of overpass structures in road networks has great significance for multi-scale modeling of roads, congestion analysis, and vehicle navigation. The traditional vector-based methods identify overpasses by the methodologies coming from computational geometry and graph theory, and they overly rely on the artificially designed features and have poor adaptability to complex scenes. This paper presents a novel method of identifying overpasses based on a target detection model (Faster-RCNN). This method utilizes raster representation of vector data and convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to learn task adaptive features from raster data, then identifies the location of an overpass by a Region Proposal network (RPN). The contribution of this paper is: (1) An overpass labelling geodatabase (OLGDB) for the OpenStreetMap (OSM) road network data of six typical cities in China is established; (2) Three different CNNs (ZF-net, VGG-16, Inception-ResNet V2) are integrated into Faster-RCNN and evaluated by accuracy performance; (3) The optimal combination of learning rate and batchsize is determined by fine-tuning; and (4) Five geometric metrics (perimeter, area, squareness, circularity, and W/L) are synthetized into image bands to enhance the training data, and their contribution to the overpass identification task is determined. The experimental results have shown that the proposed method has good accuracy performance (around 90%), and could be improved with the expansion of OLGDB and switching to more sophisticated target detection models. The deep learning target detection model has great application potential in large-scale road network pattern recognition, it can task-adaptively learn road structure features and easily extend to other road network patterns.
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