Web-based dissemination of continuously generalized space-scale cube data for smooth user interaction

Martijn Meijers*, Peter van Oosterom, Mattijs Driel, Radan Šuba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


The Space-Scale Cube (SSC) model stores the result of a generalization process, that supports smooth scale transitions for map objects. The third dimension is used to describe geometrically the smooth transitions between objects at different levels of detail. Often-used map generalization operators fit in this SSC model. The 3D SSC model to derive 2D maps can be used in a mobile web client, where these days powerful graphics hardware is available. This article shows the steps needed for producing and disseminating SSC data with smooth transitions over the web. Firstly, we explain how SSC data can be obtained and subsequently be rendered by making effective use of the GPU. Secondly, we show how we organize data in chunks and how this ‘chunked’ data can be used for efficient communication between client and server. In the third place, we describe which operations can be used on the client side for deriving maps. Fourthly, the SSC also allows for (a) mixed abstraction slicing surfaces useful for highlighting specific regions by showing more detail and (b) near-intersection blending, which helps to prevent abrupt transitions while the slicing surface is in motion. Finally, we show how animated pan and zoom functionalities may be realized. A set of prototypes allows us to disseminate the data with smooth transitions on the web and in practice judge the effect of continuous generalization and animating the map image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-176
JournalInternational Journal of Cartography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • continuous generalization
  • interaction
  • Map visualization
  • real time
  • web mapping


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