A Snake-based Approach for TIGER Road Data Conflation

Authors: Song, Wenbo; Haithcoat, Timothy L.; Keller, James M.

Source: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 1 October 2006, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 287-298(12)


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The TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing) system has served the U.S. Census Bureau and other agencies' geographic needs successfully for two decades. Poor positional accuracy has however made it extremely difficult to integrate TIGER with advanced technologies and data sources such as GPS, high resolution imagery, and state/local GIS data. In this paper, a potential solution for conflation of TIGER road centerline data with other geospatial data is presented. The first two steps of the approach (feature matching and map alignment) remain the same as in traditional conflation. Following these steps, a third is added in which active contour models (snakes) are used to automatically move the vertices of TIGER roads to high-accuracy roads, rather than transferring attributes between the two datasets. This approach has benefits over traditional conflation methodology. It overcomes the problem of splitting vector road line segments, and it can be extended for vector imagery conflation as well. Thus, a variety of data sources (GIS, GPS, and Remote Sensing) could be used to improve TIGER data. Preliminary test results indicate that the three-step approach proposed in this paper performs very well. The positional accuracy of TIGER road centerline can be improved from an original 100 plus meters' RMS error to only 3 meters. Such an improvement can make TIGER data more useful for much broader application.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1559/152304006779500669

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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