Harmonious Simplification of Isolines

Authors Arthur van Goethem, Wouter Meulemans , Andreas Reimer, Bettina Speckmann

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Author Details

Arthur van Goethem
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Wouter Meulemans
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Andreas Reimer
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Bettina Speckmann
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands


DEMs provided by the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center and the Polar Geospatial Center under NSF-OPP awards 1543501, 1810976, 1542736, 1559691, 1043681, 1541332, 0753663, 1548562, 1238993 and NASA award NNX10AN61G. Computer time provided through a Blue Waters Innovation Initiative. DEMs produced using data from DigitalGlobe, Inc.

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Arthur van Goethem, Wouter Meulemans, Andreas Reimer, and Bettina Speckmann. Harmonious Simplification of Isolines. In 11th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience 2021) - Part II. Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 208, pp. 8:1-8:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


Current techniques for simplification focus on reducing complexity while maintaining the geometric similarity to the input. For isolines that jointly describe a scalar field, however, we postulate that geometric similarity of each isoline separately is not sufficient. Rather, we need to maintain the harmony between these isolines to make them visually relate and describe the structures of the underlying terrain. Based on principles of manual cartography, we propose an algorithm for simplifying isolines while considering harmony explicitly. Our preliminary visual and quantitative results suggest that our algorithm is effective.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Information systems → Geographic information systems
  • Theory of computation → Computational geometry
  • Simplification
  • isolines
  • harmony


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