Affordance-based Categorization of Road Network Data using a Grounded Theory of Channel Networks

International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 24, Issue 8 August 2010 , pages 1249 – 1267

Simon Scheider; Werner Kuhn

“We propose a grounded ontological theory of channel networks to categorize features, such as junctions, in road network databases. The theory is grounded, because its primitives can be given an unambiguous interpretation into directly observable qualities of physical road networks, such as supported movements and their medium, connectedness of such media, and turnoff restrictions. The theory provides a very general approach to automatically annotate and integrate road network data from heterogeneous sources, because it rests on application-independent observation principles. We suggest that road network categories such as junctions and roads are based on locomotion affordances. Road network databases can be mapped into our channel network theory, so that instances of roads and junctions can be automatically categorized or checked for consistency by what they afford. In this paper, we introduce affordance-based definitions of a road network and a junction, and show that the definition of latter is satisfied by some of the most common junction types. ”