Fast and Robust Point-in-Spherical-Polygon Tests Using Multilevel Spherical Grids

  • Jing LiEmail author
  • Han Zhang
  • Wencheng Wang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10582)


Point-in-spherical-polygon determination is widely required in applications over the earth. However, existing methods for point-in-polygon tests cannot be applied directly, due to non-Euclidean computation over the spherical surface. Thus, it is general to transform a spherical polygon into a planar polygon via projection, and then perform point-in-polygon tests. Unfortunately, this is expensive and may cause determination errors. In this paper, we propose to subdivide the spherical grid cells iteratively, and apply the ray-crossing method locally in grid cells, which is by one of our previous works. As a result, this not only avoids expensive transformation computation, but also guarantees robust determination for point-in-spherical-polygon tests. Experimental results attest our effectiveness, and show an acceleration of five orders of magnitude over a popularly used method.


Point-in-spherical-polygon test Multilevel grid Ray-crossing 



This work is partially supported by the sub-project of the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016QY01W0101), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 60873182, 61379087, U1435220, and 61661146002), and the EU FP7 funded project AniNex (FP7-IRSES-612627).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Integrated Information System TechnologyInstitute of Software, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Computer ScienceInstitute of Software, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.The University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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