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July 1, 2022

Split-Match-Aggregate (SMA) Algorithm: Integrating Sidewalk Data with Transportation Network Data in GIS

Kang, Bumjoon; Scully, Jason Y.; Stewart, Orion; Hurvitz, Philip M.; Moudon, Anne V. (2015). Split-Match-Aggregate (SMA) Algorithm: Integrating Sidewalk Data with Transportation Network Data in GIS. International Journal Of Geographical Information Science, 29(3), 440 – 453.

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Sidewalk geodata are essential to understand walking behavior. However, such geodata are scarce, only available at the local jurisdiction and not at the regional level. If they exist, the data are stored in geometric representational formats without network characteristics such as sidewalk connectivity and completeness. This article presents the Split-Match-Aggregate (SMA) algorithm, which automatically conflates sidewalk information from secondary geometric sidewalk data to existing street network data. The algorithm uses three parameters to determine geometric relationships between sidewalk and street segments: the distance between streets and sidewalk segments; the angle between sidewalk and street segments; and the difference between the lengths of matched sidewalk and street segments. The SMA algorithm was applied in urban King County, WA, to 13 jurisdictions' secondary sidewalk geodata. Parameter values were determined based on agreement rates between results obtained from 72 pre-specified parameter combinations and those of a trained geographic information systems (GIS) analyst using a randomly selected 5% of the 79,928 street segments as a parameter-development sample. The algorithm performed best when the distances between sidewalk and street segments were 12m or less, their angles were 25 degrees or less, and the tolerance was set to 18m, showing an excellent agreement rate of 96.5%. The SMA algorithm was applied to classify sidewalks in the entire study area and it successfully updated sidewalk coverage information on the existing regional-level street network data. The algorithm can be applied for conflating attributes between associated, but geometrically misaligned line data sets in GIS.


Geodatabases; Sidewalks; Algorithms; Pedestrians; Digital Mapping; Algorithm; Gis; Pedestrian Network Data; Polyline Conflation; Sidewalk; Built Environment; Physical-activity; Mode Choice; Urban Form; Land-use; Travel; Generation; Walking