Extracting Important Routes from Illustration Maps Using Kernel Density Estimation

  • Fumiya Sato
  • Hsiang-Yun WuEmail author
  • Shigeo Takahashi
  • Masatoshi Arikawa
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9317)


Illustration maps often direct our visual attention to the specific route with geographic symbols and annotation labels associated with important landmarks. This inspires us to evaluate the quality of such maps by analyzing the spatial distribution of visual attention over the map domain. In this paper, we introduce kernel density estimation in order to identify important routes that are implicitly designated by the map designers. Our algorithm begins by composing the density field as a combination of Gaussian kernels centered on the landmarks. The algorithm then allows us to extract an important route on the map as the trajectory of a ball running along the valley of the density field. We conducted a user study where we compared the routes reconstructed from the sequence of landmarks specified by the participants and their originally intended routes, and report some insight into possible aesthetic criteria in illustrating such maps.


Map analysis Route estimation Kernel density field 



The work has been conducted in part as the joint research (No. 398) using spatial data provided by Center for Spatial Information Science, The University of Tokyo, and also partially supported by JSPS KAKENHI under Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Scientific Research (B) No. 24300033, Challenging Exploratory Research No. 15K12032, and Young Researchers (B) No. 26730061.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fumiya Sato
    • 1
  • Hsiang-Yun Wu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shigeo Takahashi
    • 3
  • Masatoshi Arikawa
    • 4
  1. 1.The University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Keio UniversityKanagawaJapan
  3. 3.University of AizuFukushimaJapan
  4. 4.The University of TokyoChibaJapan

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