Terrain generalisation

Eric Guilbert, Julien Gaffuri, Bernhard Jenny

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


    This chapter reviews recent development in terrain generalisation. We focus on issues of aesthetics and legibility in the application of cartographic generalisation. Generalisation methods are relevant to traditional terrain representations (spot heights, contours, hypsometric colours, shaded relief) and to grid and triangulated surface generalisation. First we consider issues related to relief representation at different scales. As generalisation requires knowledge about the terrain morphology, several approaches focusing on the classification of terrain features according to morphometric or topological criteria have been developed. Cartographic generalisation methods are reviewed with consideration given to conflicts between terrain representations and other object type data on the map. In the second part of this chapter, three case studies illustrating previous developments are presented. First, a generalisation method for hypsometric map production is described where important valleys and mountain ridges are accentuated to improve their representation. Second, a method selecting features represented by isobaths and answering specific constraints of nautical charts is presented. The third case study is a generalisation method which models the relationship between terrain and other objects such as buildings and rivers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAbstracting geographic information in a data rich world
    Subtitle of host publicationMethodologies and applications of map generalisation
    EditorsDirk Burghardt, Cécile Duchêne, William Mackaness
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    Number of pages32
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319002033
    ISBN (Print)9783319002026
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2014

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography
    ISSN (Print)2195-1705
    ISSN (Electronic)2195-1713

    Cite this

    Guilbert, E., Gaffuri, J., & Jenny, B. (2014). Terrain generalisation. In D. Burghardt, C. Duchêne, & W. Mackaness (Eds.), Abstracting geographic information in a data rich world: Methodologies and applications of map generalisation (pp. 227-258). (Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-00203-3_8