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Buffer Operation on Spatial Data with Limited Accuracy

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The quality of spatial data is limited by the accuracy of their sources such as paper maps and satellite images. It is also reduced by errors in map digitization and photo interpretation. Spatial operations performed on spatial data such as map overlay, buffer operations and spatial smoothing, do not always work correctly because their accuracy depends on the quality of spatial data. The present paper evaluates the accuracy of the buffer operation on a point and a line segment in relation to the positional accuracy of spatial data. Two quantitative measures are introduced to assess the accuracy of the buffer operation. Their explicit forms are derived for a point, and a condition is presented where the measures can be evaluated efficiently by numerical calculation. Applications provide empirical findings that deepen our understanding of the relationship between the accuracy of spatial data and that of the buffer operation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Urban Engineering University of Tokyo

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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