What is the center line of a complex polygon? Routing Stream and Rivers

Continuing my posts on the centerline of a complex polygon (you can work your way backward from here), here’s it’s application to a riverine system (legend: light blue river, black centerline derived from routing through the skeleton of voronoi polygons from a densified stream bank set + the skipped skeleton bits in pink– read through the series if you if you don’t grok that explaination):

11 thoughts on “What is the center line of a complex polygon? Routing Stream and Rivers

  1. I had to this for a job one time and found a nice ArcGIS model (ArcInfo required). Clever way of using Thiessen Polygons to do the job, am guessing the workflow is pretty similar to yours:

    I also used FME and worked pretty well too, from what I remember too ET GeoWaizards a create centerline tool.

    It would be really cool if you could do all of this in PostGIS.

      1. Depending on how you densify, it may take a long time to finish the process especially if you have lots of features. After the trimming of the skeletons, unsplitting the lines and applying a threshold minimum length helps in cleaning further the lines and also creates line segments according to line intersections. You still have to make some manual edits but it helps a lot in minimizing the worload.

      1. We’re doing rapid characterization of river widths across large areas. Input is a binary river mask, but we need to compute centerlines initially.

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