Map generalization is concerned with the optimal display of geographic information in map form. It involves the careful selection of data and the use of a range of abstraction techniques that seek to give emphasis to what is important, while still including sufficient contextualizing information. If geographic phenomena are stored at fine levels of detail, the goal of automated map generalization is to derive maps at coarser (smaller) scales. Traditionally, the focus has been on paper maps, but increasingly map generalization services are available via the web, and accessible to users with relatively little cartographic knowledge who wish to integrate data from multiple sources (including their own). These high levels of automation require us to make explicit the relationships and behaviors among geographic phenomena, in order that we can reason about the complex decision-making process that is cartographic design.
- map generalization
- automated mapping