A formal approach to the automated labeling of groups of features

A. Reimer, A.I. Goethem, van, M. Rylov, M.J. Kreveld, van, B. Speckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
321 Downloads (Pure)


A variety of recurring geographic entities form collections of point, line, or area features. Examples are groups of islands (Archipelago), relief features in deserts, periglacial lakes or geomorphological forms, such as drumlins and sinkholes. All these groups of features might be best identified with a single label. Surprisingly, the (automated) labeling of groups of features has received little attention so far. We propose a framework to determine formal measures that describe the geometric aspects of the cartographic design space for labeling feature groups. Our framework gives rise to a large variety of geometrically optimal labels. We list the optimal label positions and shapes for which labels can already be computed using existing algorithms. However, in many of the cases computing optimal label placements is still an open algorithmic question which can readily be investigated in future work. Once the necessary algorithms are developed, our framework provides an objective basis to investigate the geometric measures used by cartographers to label groups of features. We preliminarily explore the applicability of our framework using one of the geometric optimality choices. Keywords: automated cartography, labeling, groups of features
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-344
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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