From GPS Traces to a Routable Road Map

Lili Cao, John Krumm

17th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2009), November 4-6, 2009, Seattle, WA |

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This paper presents a method for automatically converting raw GPS traces from everyday vehicles into a routable road network. The method begins by smoothing raw GPS traces using a novel aggregation technique. This technique pulls together traces that belong on the same road in response to simulated potential energy wells created around each trace. After the traces are moved in response to the potential fields, they tend to coalesce into smooth paths. To help adjust the parameters of the constituent potential fields, we present a theoretical analysis of the behavior of our algorithm on a few different road configurations. With the resulting smooth traces, we apply a custom clustering algorithm to create a graph of nodes and edges representing the road network. We show how this network can be used to plan reasonable driving routes, much like consumer-oriented mapping Web sites. We demonstrate our algorithms using real GPS data collected on public roads, and we evaluate the effectiveness of our approach by comparing the route planning results suggested by our generated graph to a commercial route planner.