An integrated approach to the generalization of geological maps

Timothy C. Downs*, William A. Mackaness

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The British Geological Survey is recognizing the consumer's need for customized 'built-for-purpose' geoscientific data sets. It is witnessing a move away from being merely producers of standard scale cartographic products. This research proposes an automated tool for the generalization of geological maps, which may assist the organization in meeting these demands. The research shows that in order to derive a coarse scale geological map from a fine scale geological database there is a requirement for contextual sensitivity. To achieve an appropriate result the interaction between the themes represented on the map must be considered and should reflect the interaction of geological objects in the real world. A case study is presented which illustrates how standard cartographic generalization operations can be combined, using a rule base, into a partially automated process to generalize a geological data set from 1:50 000 to 1:250 000 scale. Independent geoscientific professionals evaluated the results from the case study. The tool provides consistency and tracabilty in the generation of multiscale geoscientific data. The evaluation suggests that, with further research, higher levels of autonomous generalization are achievable. In its current form it is a highly useful tool as a testbed for defining generalization requirements in geological mapping, an aid to the production of standard scale maps and a basis for creating customer specific data sets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-152
Number of pages16
JournalThe Cartographic Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


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