gmtsimplify - Line reduction using the Douglas-Peucker algorithm
] ] [ -b
binary ] [ -d
nodata ] [
regexp ] [ -f
flags ] [ -g
gaps ] [ -h
headers ] [
flags ] [ -o
flags ] [ -:
No space is allowed between the option flag and the associated
reads one or more data files and apply the Douglas-Peucker
line simplification algorithm. The method recursively subdivides a polygon
until a run of points can be replaced by a straight line segment, with no
point in that run deviating from the straight line by more than the tolerance.
Have a look at this site to get a visual insight on how the algorithm works (
- Specifies the maximum mismatch tolerance in the user units.
If the data is not Cartesian then append the distance unit (see
- One or more ASCII (or binary, see
-bi[ncols][type]) data table file(s) holding a number
of data columns. If no tables are given then we read from standard
- -V[level] (more ...)
- Select verbosity level [c].
- -bi[ncols][t] (more ...)
- Select native binary input. [Default is 2 input
- -bo[ncols][type] (more ...)
- Select native binary output. [Default is same as
- -d[i|o]nodata (more ...)
- Replace input columns that equal nodata with NaN and
do the reverse on output.
- -e[~]"pattern" |
-e[ ~]/regexp/[i] (more ...)
- Only accept data records that match the given pattern.
- -f[i|o]colinfo (more ...)
- Specify data types of input and/or output columns.
- Determine data gaps and line breaks.
- Skip or produce header record(s).
- Select input columns and transformations (0 is first
- -ocols[,...] (more ...)
- Select output columns (0 is first column).
- -:[i|o] (more ...)
- Swap 1st and 2nd column on input and/or output.
- -^ or just -
- Print a short message about the syntax of the command, then
exits (NOTE: on Windows just use -).
- -+ or just +
- Print an extensive usage (help) message, including the
explanation of any module-specific option (but not the GMT common
options), then exits.
- -? or no arguments
- Print a complete usage (help) message, including the
explanation of all options, then exits.
For map distance unit, append unit d
for arc degree, m
arc minute, and s
for arc second, or e
for meter [Default],
for foot, k
for km, M
for statute mile, n
nautical mile, and u
for US survey foot. By default we compute such
distances using a spherical approximation with great circles. Prepend -
to a distance (or the unit is no distance is given) to perform "Flat
Earth" calculations (quicker but less accurate) or prepend +
perform exact geodesic calculations (slower but more accurate).
The ASCII output formats of numerical data are controlled by parameters in your
gmt.conf file. Longitude and latitude are formatted according to
FORMAT_GEO_OUT, absolute time is under the control of FORMAT_DATE_OUT and
FORMAT_CLOCK_OUT, whereas general floating point values are formatted
according to FORMAT_FLOAT_OUT. Be aware that the format in effect can lead to
loss of precision in ASCII output, which can lead to various problems
downstream. If you find the output is not written with enough precision,
consider switching to binary output ( -bo
if available) or specify more
decimals using the FORMAT_FLOAT_OUT setting.
To reduce the geographic line segment.d using a tolerance of 2 km, run
gmt simplify segment.d -T2k > new_segment.d
To reduce the Cartesian lines xylines.d using a tolerance of 0.45 and write the
reduced lines to file new_xylines.d, run
gmt simplify xylines.d -T0.45 > new_xylines.d
There is a slight difference in how gmtsimplify
processes lines versus
closed polygons. Segments that are explicitly closed will be considered
polygons, otherwise we treat them as line segments. Hence, segments recognized
as polygons may reduce to a 3-point polygon with no area; these are suppressed
from the output.
One known issue with the Douglas-Peucker has to do with crossovers.
Specifically, it cannot be guaranteed that the reduced line does not cross
itself. Depending on how many lines you are considering it is also possible
that reduced lines may intersect other reduced lines. Finally, the current
implementation only does Flat Earth calculations even if you specify
will issue a warning and reset the calculation
mode to Flat Earth.
Douglas, D. H., and T. K. Peucker, Algorithms for the reduction of the number of
points required to represent a digitized line of its caricature, Can.
, 112-122, 1973.
This implementation of the algorithm has been kindly provided by Dr. Gary J.
, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK;
his subroutine forms the basis for this program.
gmt, gmt.conf, gmtconnect, gmtconvert, gmtselect
2017, P. Wessel, W. H. F. Smith, R. Scharroo, J. Luis, and F. Wobbe