Pairwise Line Labeling of Geographic Boundaries: An Efficient and Practical Algorithm

Maxim Rylov, Andreas Reimer


We present an algorithm that labels linear features with two matched toponyms describing the left and the right side of a line, respectively. Such a pairwise line labeling strategy is commonly used in manually produced maps to differentiate administrative or other geographic divisions. Our approach solves two basic tasks of the automated map labeling problem, namely candidate-position generation and position evaluation for a given scale. The quality of the name placement is evaluated by comparison to a set of established cartographic principles and guidelines for linear features. We give some results of our experiments based on real datasets. The implementation of our algorithm shows that it is simple and robust, and the resulting sample maps demonstrate its practical efficiency.


automated label placement; automated cartography; quality evaluation; computational geometry; GIS mapping

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