Automated placement of supplementary contour lines

Timofey Samsonov, Sergey Koshel, Dmitry Walther, Bernhard Jenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Supplementary contour lines are placed between regular contour lines to visualize small but important forms that regular contour lines are unable to show. On topographic maps, typical forms are hillcrests, depressions, saddles, terraces, banks, and levees. No automated method for the selection of supplementary contour lines has been described so far. We document cartographic design principles for the selection of supplementary contour lines for topographic maps, and present an automated method for their placement. Results of the automated method are similar to manually placed supplementary contour lines. Our method helps map authors to create contour line maps that more effectively illustrate relevant small details in maps showing terrain elevation or other scalar fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2072-2093
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2019


  • intermediate contour
  • isarithm
  • isohypse
  • isoline
  • Supplementary contour line

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