Terrain generalization with line integral convolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Line integral convolution is a technique originally developed for visualizing vector fields, such as wind or water directions, that places densely packed lines following the direction of movement. Geisthövel and Hurni adapted line integral convolution to terrain generalization in 2018. Their method successfully removes details and retains sharp mountain ridges; it is particularly suited for creating generalized shaded relief. This paper extends line integral convolution generalization with a series of enhancements to reduce spurious artifacts, accentuate mountain ridges, control the level of detail in mountain slopes, and preserve sharp transitions to flat areas. The enhanced line integral convolution generalization effectively removes excessive terrain details without changing the position of terrain features. Sharp mountain ridgelines are accentuated, and transitions to flat waterbodies and valley bottoms are preserved. Shaded relief imagery derived from generalized elevation models is visually pleasing and resembles manually produced shaded relief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-92
Number of pages16
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • curvature-adaptive Gaussian blurring
  • line integral convolution
  • shaded relief
  • Terrain generalization

Cite this