laser-Scan is working with national mapping agencies and other interested parties to develop a new, user-friendly automatic generalization product: Clarity.

Generalization is the task of deriving small scale data products, e.g. maps, from more detailed (large scale) mapping or source data. It involves exaggerating those aspects that are important for this particular purpose and scale, and removing irrelevant detail that would clutter the map and confuse the user. Generalization allows a series of data and map products to be produced from a single database.

The first phase of development at Laser-Scan is already underway, guided by the innovative MAGNET (Mapping Agencies Generalisation NETwork) project. MAGNET aims to consolidate and extend current generalisation capabilities in line with the business requirements of its members. The MAGNET group comprises organisations (including National and Regional Mapping Agencies) interested in contributing to the development of Clarity.

New functionality is set to include:

  • Intelligent software agent lifecycle - map features adapt themselves for maximum clarity
  • Java interface
  • Map specification and generalisation parameters stored and retrieved as XML for portability and flexibility
  • Processing new data types (such as rivers, forests etc)
  • Model generalisation
  • Support for generalisation of 3D data
  • New scale ranges
  • Quality metric analysis and reporting
  • Intelligent partitioning to break the task into manageable chunks
  • Incremental generalisation
  • Text placement
  • Tools to assist development of flowlines

Laser-Scan's generalization technology is currently in use at several European national mapping agencies including Kort & Matrikelstyrelsen (Denmark) and Institut G¿raphique National (France).