Prof. Dr. Jürgen Döllner
Amir Semmo



Tel.: +49-(0)331 5509-3909
Fax: +49-(0)331 5509-172
Room: H-2.26
E-Mail: amir.semmo(at)hpi.de

Research Interests

Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR)
Real-Time Rendering & Shading
Computational Aesthetics
Cartographic Design
Virtual 3D City Models


Automated Image-Based Abstraction of Aerial Images

Semmo, Amir and Kyprianidis, Jan Eric and Döllner, Jürgen
In Painho, Marco and Santos, Maribel Yasmina and Pundt, Hardy, ed., Geospatial Thinking, of Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, pages 359-378. Springer, 5 2010

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-12326-9_19


Aerial images represent a fundamental type of geodata with a broad range of applications in GIS and geovisualization. The perception and cognitive processing of aerial images by the human, however, still is faced with the specific limitations of photorealistic depictions such as low contrast areas, unsharp object borders as well as visual noise. In this paper we present a novel technique to automatically abstract aerial images that enhances visual clarity and generalizes the contents of aerial images to improve their perception and recognition. The technique applies non-photorealistic image processing by smoothing local image regions with low contrast and emphasizing edges in image regions with high contrast. To handle the abstraction of large images, we introduce an image tiling procedure that is optimized for post-processing images on GPUs and avoids visible artifacts across junctions. This is technically achieved by filtering additional connection tiles that overlap the main tiles of the input image. The technique also allows the generation of different levels of abstraction for aerial images by computing a mipmap pyramid, where each of the mipmap levels is filtered with adapted abstraction parameters. These mipmaps can then be used to perform level-of-detail rendering of abstracted aerial images. Finally, the paper contributes a study to aerial image abstraction by analyzing the results of the abstraction process on distinctive visible elements in common aerial image types. In particular, we have identified a high abstraction straction potential in landscape images and a higher benefit from edge enhancement in urban environments.

BibTeX file

author = { Semmo, Amir and Kyprianidis, Jan Eric and D{\"o}llner, J{\"u}rgen },
title = { Automated Image-Based Abstraction of Aerial Images },
booktitle = { Geospatial Thinking },
pages = { 359-378 },
year = { 2010 },
editor = { Painho, Marco and Santos, Maribel Yasmina and Pundt, Hardy },
publisher = { Springer },
series = { Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography }

Copyright Notice

last change: Sun, 08 Sep 2013 19:03:41 +0200


  • An Interaction Framework for Level-of-Abstraction Visualization of 3D Geovirtual Environments - held at ACM SIGSPATIAL MapInteract 2014, Dallas, TX - USA (11/2014)
  • Image Filtering for Interactive Level-of-Abstraction Visualization of 3D Scenes - held at Expressive 2014, Vancouver - Canada (08/2014)
  • Evaluating the Perceptual Impact of Rendering Techniques on Thematic Color Mappings in 3D Virtual Environments - held at VMV 2013, Lugano - Switzerland (09/2013)
  • Real-Time Rendering of Water Surfaces with Cartography-Oriented Design - held at Expressive 2013, Anaheim, CA - USA (07/2013)
  • Cartography-Oriented Visualization of Virtual 3D City Models based on Level-of-Abstraction Transitions - held at HPI Research School, Potsdam - Germany (06/2012)
  • Interactive Visualization of Generalized Virtual 3D City Models using Level-of-Abstraction Transitions - held at EuroVis 2012, Vienna - Austria (06/2012)
  • Colonia3D - held at Kultur und Informatik Conference, Berlin - Germany (05/2011)
  • Ansätze zur kartographischen Gestaltung von 3D-Stadtmodellen - held at 31. Wissenschaftlich-Technische Jahrestagung der DGPF, Mainz - Germany (04/2011)
  • Automated Image-Based Abstraction of Aerial Images - held at AGILE Conference, Guimarães - Portugal (05/2010)


  • SoSe 2014: Seminar Image & Video Processing
    (with Sebastian Pasewaldt, Matthias Trapp)
  • WiSe 2013/14: Seminar Geovisualization
    (with Rico Richter)
  • SoSe 2013: Graphics Programming with OpenGL and C++
    (with Daniel Limberger, Stefan Buschmann)
  • WiSe 2012/13: Computergrafik II
    (with Daniel Limberger, Jürgen Döllner)
  • SoSe 2012: Exercises for 3D-Computergrafik I
    (with Jan Eric Kyprianidis, Matthias Trapp)
  • WiSe 2011/12: Exercises for Computergrafik II
    (with Matthias Trapp, Christine Lehmann, Jan Eric Kyprianidis)
  • WiSe 2011/12: Seminar Real-Time Rendering Techniques
    (with Rico Richter, Juri Engel)


  • ACM SIGGRAPH (2014)
  • Eurographics Conference on Visualization / EuroVis (2014)
  • IEEE Pacific Visualization (2013)
  • International Journal of Geographical Information Science (2013)
  • The Visual Computer (2012)