Producing Intermediate Contours from Digitized Contours

Ammatzia Peled, Joseph C. Loon, John D. Bossler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contour lines on existing maps are often the only source of information about the terrain relief. In an effective digital mapping environment, the generation of intermediate contours is one of many essential capabilities. These intermediate contours can be generated in the original units or in some other units. During the digitization process, errors are introduced into the cartographic data, and data manipulation processes may introduce additional errors. A new six-step method is presented here to reduce the data manipulation errors during the process of generating intermediate contours. In our method, the original digitized contours serve not only as a data source, but also as a control on the interpolation process. This process utilizes one- and two-dimensional filters to determine the differences between original and modeled contours. The interpolated contours are adjusted to the original contours thus preserving both general and local shape of the original relief representations. The most frequent application of this method likely will be in the conversion of “foot” contours to “meter” contours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalThe American Cartographer
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989


  • Contour
  • Digitizing
  • Interpolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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