Journal of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science ›› 2019, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (1): 37-48.doi: 10.11947/j.JGGS.2019.0105

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Syntactic Characteristics and a Smart Construction Mechanism for Thematic Map Symbols

Fei ZHAO1,Qingyun DU2,Fu REN2,Guizhi WANG3   

  1. 1. School of Resource Environment and Earth Science,Yunnan University,Kunming 650091, China
    2. School of Resources and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    3. School of Resources and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2018-06-01 Accepted:2019-02-01 Online:2019-03-20 Published:2020-03-20
  • About author:Fei ZHAO(1986—), male, PhD, majors in spatial data updating and visualization.E-mail:


The construction of thematic map symbols is a very complex and intellectually demanding process, but thematic symbols can be automatically generated and easily shared on the web using the syntactic structure of semantic symbols. In this paper, the symbol types, inner structure, and design pattern are discussed. A syntactic construction theory based on letter (thematic maps primitive)-word (single thematic symbol)-sentence (combined symbols or complex symbols) structure model is proposed to automate the construction of thematic map symbols. As a result of this research, symbols can be defined using cartographic primitives which are arranged according to syntactic principles. A semiotic model and word-centered construction theory can be integrated into interactive cartography as represented by the technology of Internet. Finally, the concepts and schema of this theory are discussed, and some examples are presented based a web thematic cartographic system to verify its utility.

Key words: syntax; thematic map; symbol; linguistics; web cartography; construction