GenW2+ forms a one-year extension of its predecessor GenW2 and is situated in the domains of geographic information systems (GIS) and digital cartography. Map generalization (short: generalization) is a key function in digital cartography and GIS, needed for a variety of tasks such as the generation of maps at different scales, the creation and maintenance of geospatial databases at multiple scales, and controlled data reduction. More specifically, this project focuses on generalization for web and wireless (or mobile) maps on small, portable end user devices. Hence, we pay attention to the gradual evolution of GIS and cartography towards the mobile context. The automatic generation of maps on mobile devices (aka portrayal) and map generalization receive a different meaning in a mobile context of usage and are governed by different needs and opportunities than static paper maps. GenW2+ consists of two subprojects, both funding one PhD student.
Subproject A responds to the fact that information sources today are no longer restricted to static spatial databases but may also include rapidly changing or even ephemeral information that can be harvested from the web. In particular, user-generated content with a geographic dimension (e.g. georeferenced Flickr images) can be integrated with official or commercial spatial databases such as those provided by the Swiss national mapping agency Swisstopo.
Subproject B focuses on real-time (or on-the-fly) delivery of maps on mobile devices, tailored to the location and needs of a mobile user, with particular attention on point data. Point data, in this case, are either points of interest or 'clouds' of points where some observations or measurements were made (e.g. wildlife observations). Maps displaying such point data in existing web or mobile applications are often so cluttered with point symbols that they become illegible. Hence, algorithms for real-time point data generalization are needed.