An Algorithmic Framework for Labeling Road Maps

  • Benjamin Niedermann
  • Martin Nöllenburg
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9927)


Given an unlabeled road map, we consider, from an algorithmic perspective, the cartographic problem of placing non-overlapping road labels embedded in the roads. We first decompose the road network into logically coherent road sections, i.e., parts of roads between two junctions. Based on this decomposition, we present and implement a new and versatile framework for placing labels in road maps such that the number of labeled road sections is maximized. In an experimental evaluation with road maps of 11 major cities we show that our proposed labeling algorithm is both fast in practice and that it reaches near-optimal solution quality, where optimal solutions are obtained by mixed-integer linear programming. In direct comparison, our algorithm consistently outperforms the standard OpenStreetMap renderer Mapnik.


Road Network Road Section Font Size Thick Curve Label Algorithm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Andreas Gemsa for many interesting and inspiring discussions, and his help on the implementation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.TU WienViennaAustria

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