COMPARING IMAGE-BASED METHODS FOR ASSESSING VISUAL CLUTTER IN GENERALIZED MAPS
Keywords: Map Generalization, Clutter, Complexity, Cartography, Legibility, Constraints, Scale
Abstract. Map generalization abstracts and simplifies geographic information to derive maps at smaller scales. The automation of map generalization requires techniques to evaluate the global quality of a generalized map. The quality and legibility of a generalized map is related to the complexity of the map, or the amount of clutter in the map, i.e. the excessive amount of information and its disorganization. Computer vision research is highly interested in measuring clutter in images, and this paper proposes to compare some of the existing techniques from computer vision, applied to generalized maps evaluation. Four techniques from the literature are described and tested on a large set of maps, generalized at different scales: edge density, subband entropy, quad tree complexity, and segmentation clutter. The results are analyzed against several criteria related to generalized maps, the identification of cluttered areas, the preservation of the global amount of information, the handling of occlusions and overlaps, foreground vs background, and blank space reduction.