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The Visvalingam algorithm: metrics, measures and heuristics

Visvalingam, Mahes


Mahes Visvalingam


This paper provides the background necessary for a clear understanding of forthcoming papers relating to the Visvalingam algorithm for line generalisation, for example on the testing and usage of its implementations. It distinguishes the algorithm from implementation-specific issues to explain why it is possible to get inconsistent but equally valid output from different implementations. By tracing relevant developments within the now-disbanded Cartographic Information Systems Research Group (CISRG) of the University of Hull, it explains why a) a partial metric-driven implementation was, and still is, sufficient for many projects but not for others; b) why the Effective Area (EA) is a measure derived from a metric; c) why this measure (EA) may serve as a heuristic indicator for in-line feature segmentation and model-based generalisation; and, d) how metrics may be combined to change the order of point elimination. The issues discussed in this paper also apply to the use of other metrics. It is hoped that the background and guidance provided in this paper will enable others to participate in further research based on the algorithm.


Visvalingam, M. (2015). The Visvalingam algorithm: metrics, measures and heuristics.

Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Mar 27, 2015
Publicly Available Date Dec 31, 2015
Journal Explorations in digital cartography discussion paper series. Discussion paper; 2
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Book Title The Visvalingam algorithm : metrics, measures and heuristics
Keywords Visvalingam algorithm for line generalisation
Public URL


Book.pdf (226 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2015 Visvalingam. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder

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