Spatially efficient design of annotated metro maps

Hsiang Yun Wu, Shigeo Takahashi, Daichi Hirono, Masatoshi Arikawa, Chun-Cheng Lin, Hsu Chun Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Annotating metro maps with thumbnail photographs is a commonly used technique for guiding travelers. However, conventional methods usually suffer from small labeling space around the metro stations especially when they are interchange stations served by two or more metro lines. This paper presents an approach for aesthetically designing schematic metro maps while ensuring effective placement of large annotation labels that are sufficiently close to their corresponding stations. Our idea is to distribute such labels in a well-balanced manner to labeling regions around the metro network first and then adjust the lengths of metro line and leader line segments, which allows us to fully maximize the space coverage of the entire annotated map. This is accomplished by incorporating additional constraints into the conventional mixed-integer programming formulation, while we devised a three-step algorithm for accelerating the overall optimization process. We include several design examples to demonstrate the spatial efficiency of the map layout generated using the proposed approach through minimal user intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number3 PART3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • annotation labels
  • efficient space coverage
  • Metro maps
  • mixed-integer programming

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