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    A functional perspective on map generalisation

    Chaudhry, Omair Z., Mackaness, William A. and Regnauld, Nicolas (2009) A functional perspective on map generalisation. environment and urban systems, 33 (5). pp. 349-362. ISSN 1873-7587

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    In the context of map generalisation, the ambition is to store once and then maintain a very detailed geographic database. Using a mix of modelling and cartographic generalisation techniques, the intention is to derive map products at varying levels of detail – from the fine scale to the highly synoptic. We argue that in modelling this process, it is highly advantageous to take a ‘functional perspective’ on map generalisation – rather than a geometric one. In other words to model the function as it manifests itself in the shapes and patterns of distribution of the phenomena being mapped – whether it be hospitals, airports, or cities. By modelling the functional composition of such features we can create relationships (partonomic, taxonomic and topological) that lend themselves directly to modelling, to analysis and most importantly to the process of generalisation. Borrowing from ideas in robotic vision this paper presents an approach for the automatic identification of functional sites (a collection of topographic features that perform a collective function) and demonstrates their utility in multi-scale representation and generalisation.

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