W artykule omówiono wybrane koncepcje generalizacji numerycznego modelu rzeźby terenu (NMT), ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem metody heurystycznej opartej na uogólnieniu linii strukturalnych terenu. Przedstawiono także zróżnicowane sposoby wyznaczania linii strukturalnych i ich znaczenie dla wieloskalowego modelowania rzeźby terenu oraz generalizacji NMT.
In order to automatize the process of generalization of DTM (Digital Terrain Model) in TDB (Topographic Data Base), information about relief should be recorded in such a way, as to preserve real location of characteristic key forms and structure lines. Automatic generalization of DTM should involve generalization of database rather than graphic simplification of contour lines. Among the existing methods of DTM generalization one can distinguish various types of filtering (global, local) and heuristic approach based on a concept of generalization of structure lines. It uses digital operators in interactive cooperation between operator and the digital system. Here, generalization bases on the approximation of source SLM (structure line model) through the use of classic generalization methods such as, among others: magnification, deletion, combination, and simplification of single structure lines, followed by recomposition of secondary DTM basing on the resulting SLM. In the conducted research it was assumed, that for the composition of a hierarchical (multiscale) DTM basing on a generalization of significant morphological forms it is especially important to properly establish structure lines which constitute the topographic ..skeleton" of terrain. These lines were established basing on the existing topographic maps as well as on the analysis of TIN and GRID model. The aim was to see if it was possible to fully automatically determine structure lines basing on irregular (or regular) source data including no additional information on structural forms. Most algorithms which determine structure lines of relief basing on the regular model involve advanced analysis of potential surface flow accumulation. The research applied a modified D8 algorithm implemented in GM Grid 5,2 module, which is a functional extension of GeoMedia Professional package by Intergraph. To establish erosion network (drainage lines) it is vital to determine a threshold of accumulated flow, over which drainage network becomes a stream. Although the process is fully automatic, subjective setting of such threshold significantly varies the results. Authors of the concept of so-called extended Morse-Smale's decomposition (E. Danovaro L. DeFloriani, P. Magillo, M. Mesmoudi, E. Puppo 2003) claim that generalization of automatically determined structure lines allows for hierarchical DTM generalization, preserving significant topological relations. The research results do not support that hypothesis. Because the actual structure lines were not taken into consideration, in the process of standard Delaneuy's triangulation there appear triangles with edges crossing structure lines. It appears that although DTM generalization (or its hierarchical composition) can be successfully executed through the generalization of structure lines, the automatization of the process of determining these lines does not yield expected results. The need to determine structure lines through direct surveying, e.g. with photogrammetric techniques is therefore justified. Basing on thus determined ..skeleton" it is possible to properly generalize the model of relief, while preserving significant topological relations.