A general approach to discovering, registering, and extracting features from raster maps

Craig A. Knoblock, Ching Chien Chen, Yao Yi Chiang, Aman Goel, Matthew Michelson, Cyrus Shahabi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Maps can be a great source of information for a given geographic region, but they can be difficult to find and even harder to process. A significant problem is that many interesting and useful maps are only available in raster format, and even worse many maps have been poorly scanned and they are often compressed with lossy compression algorithms. Furthermore, for many of these maps there is no meta data providing the geographic coordinates, scale, or projection. Previous research on map processing has developed techniques that typically work on maps from a single map source. In contrast, we have developed a general approach to finding and processing street maps. This includes techniques for discovering maps online, extracting geographic and textual features from maps, using the extracted features to determine the geographic coordinates of the maps, and aligning the maps with imagery. The resulting system can find, register, and extract a variety of features from raster maps, which can then be used for various applications, such as annotating satellite imagery, creating and updating maps, or constructing detailed gazetteers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Document Recognition and Retrieval XVII
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventDocument Recognition and Retrieval XVII - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 19 2010Jan 21 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceDocument Recognition and Retrieval XVII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Conflation
  • Map discovery
  • Map extraction
  • OCR
  • Raster maps
  • Registration
  • Road extraction


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