Map Generalisation


When depicting information on a map the cartographer has to make choices on how to display the sometimes complex and very dense information without losing the flavour and meaning of what they is attempting to portray. There are several generalisation techniques that the cartographer can employ to help in this sometimes very difficult process. Some of these techniques such as displacement, simplification, combination and selection are discussed below.

Displacement is where due to the density of information symbols need to be shifted spatially so that they don’t overlap and therefore obliterate each other on the map.

Satellite image courtesy Google Maps

For example here you can see when you compare the satellite image on the left with the map on the right, you can see that some of the building symbols have been displaced so that they would not appear to be on the road.

Simplification is employed particularly for…

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