Automating the Labeling of Geographic Maps
Herbert Freeman
Rutgers University and MapText, Inc.
May 5, 2005
12:40 pm - 1:40pm
Bailey 312
Abstract

The most time-consuming task of producing a map — after data collection — is that of labeling the point, line, and area features depicted on it. It is a task that has been performed by skilled human cartographers for centuries but one that until a few years ago was thought to be beyond a computer's capability. The talk describes a long-term research and development effort to develop a software system that would automate this task. The software now available embodies the cartographer's rules and conventions and places the text for each feature according to a user-specified scenario, resolving placement conflicts and ambiguities in the association of names with features. Placement alternatives are automatically explored if the initial placement choice is not available because of lack of space, in a manner analogous to what a human cartographer could be expected to do under the same circumstances. The talk will be illustrated with PowerPoint slides.

Sponsored jointly with the Department of Geology.

Lunch will be provided in Steinmetz 209 at noon.