As one of the key operators of automated map generalization, algorithms for the line simplification have been widely researched in the past decades. Although many of the currently available algorithms have revealed satisfactory simplification performances with certain data types and selected test areas, it still remains a challenging task to solve the problems of (a) how to properly divide a cartographic line when it is too long to be dealt with directly; and (b) how to make adaptable parameterizations for various geo-data in different areas. In order to solve these two problems, a new line-simplification approach based on the Oblique-Dividing-Curve (ODC) method has been proposed in this paper. In this proposed model, one cartographic line is divided into a series of monotonic curves by the ODC method. Then, the curves are categorized into different groups according to their shapes, sizes and other geometric characteristics. The curves in different groups will trigger different strategies as well as the associated criteria for line simplification. Whenever a curve is simplified, the whole simplified cartographic line will be re-divided and the simplification process restarts again, i.e., the proposed simplification approach is iteratively operated until the final simplification result is achieved. Experiment evidence demonstrates that the proposed approach is able to handle the holistic bend-trend of the whole cartographic line during the simplification process and thereby provides considerably improved simplification performance with respect to maintaining the essential shape/salient characteristics and keeping the topological consistency. Moreover, the produced simplification results are not sensitive to the parameterizations of the proposed approach.
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