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Automated cartography

Schematization of geographic objects

Maps help people to make decisions and come to an agreement in, for example, navigation, spatial planning, or politics. Effective maps are as simple as possible so that immediately convey their message. This can be achieved by schematization: shapes on the map are simplified according to some design rules, so that complicated shapes do not clutter the map and the user can focus on the relevant spatial relations between objects on the map. Traditionally schematized maps often represent complex linear features (roads, rivers etc.) and region boundaries by just a few curved strokes. However, current automated methods for schematization are mostly restricted to straight lines, so that features on the map often become jagged sequences of short strokes. This makes maps visually more complex and more difficult to read than necessary. Therefore we are now researching automated methods to draw schematized maps with curves.

First results on schematization of region outlines, obtained with our students and the geographer-cartographer Andreas Reimer, can be found in:

  • Topologically safe curved schematization.
    By Arthur van Goethem, Herman Haverkort, Wouter Meulemans, Andreas Reimer, and Bettina Speckmann.
    The Cartographic Journal, 50(3):276–285, 2013.
    text (or contact me for free access)

In addition, I am working on curved metro maps with computer scientists in Würzburg and Karlsruhe and the British psychologist Maxwell Roberts:

  • A purely force-directed approach to drawing metro maps with curves.
    By Herman Haverkort and Mathijs Miermans.
    To be presented on a poster at the Schematic Mapping Workshop 2014.
    Contact me if you would like to receive a two-page description of our work.
  • Drawing metro maps using Bézier curves.
    By Martin Fink, Herman Haverkort, Martin Nöllenburg, Maxwell Roberts, Julian Schuhmann, and Alexander Wolff.
    In Proc. 20th Int. Symp. on Graph Drawing (GD), number 7704 in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), pages 463–474, 2013.
    text (or contact me for free access)

Maps with curved metro lines may also benefit from curved labels:

  • Labeling curves with curved labels.
    By Jan-Henrik Haunert, Herman Haverkort, Benjamin Niedermann, Arlind Nocaj, Aidan Slingsby, and Jo Wood.
    To be presented on a poster at the Schematic Mapping Workshop 2014.
    Contact me if you would like to receive a two-page description of our work.

On schematic maps of public transport systems, distances on the map are typically not proportional to actual travel times, which may cause surprises for the map user. The following is a report of a study in which I explore several possible solutions:

  • Embedding cues about travel time in schematic maps.
    By Herman Haverkort.
    To be presented on a poster at the Schematic Mapping Workshop 2014.
    text (draft of full report).

Ideally, the route between a pair of metro stations that appears to be the shortest on the map, should also be the shortest route (or the fastest connection) between these stations in reality. The following abstract reports on a little experiment with straight-line metro map drawing based on this principle:

  • Shortest-paths preserving metro maps.
    By Kevin Buchin, Herman Haverkort, Tal Milea, and Okke Schrijvers.
    In Proc. 19th Int. Symp. on Graph Drawing (GD), number 7034 in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), pages 445–446, 2012 (abstract accompanying poster).
    abstract (or contact me for free access)

Putting symbols on the map

Some older papers of mine are about how to put symbols and labels on a map:

  • Algorithmic aspects of proportional symbol maps.
    By Sergio Cabello, Herman Haverkort, Marc van Kreveld, and Bettina Speckmann.
    Algorithmica, 58(3):543–565, 2010.
    text (or contact me for free access)

In figures in books, on screen etc. there are often points that need to be labelled. It is not always possible to place the labels close to the points. A reasonable alternative is to place the labels next to the actual illustration and connect each point to its label by a curve. To do this, we have to decide where exactly to place each point's label and how to draw the curves such that the connections between points and labels are clear and the curves do not clutter the figure. The following paper presents algorithms for doing so:

  • Algorithms for multi-criteria one-sided boundary labeling.
    By Marc Benkert, Herman Haverkort, Moritz Kroll, and Martin Nöllenburg.
    Journal on Graph Algorithms and Applications, 13(3):289–317, 2009.
automated_cartography.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/11 10:27 by hjhaverkort

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