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An efficient data organization and scheduling strategy for accelerating large vector data rendering

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Transactions in GIS

Published online on


Rendering large volumes of vector data is computationally intensive and therefore time consuming, leading to lower efficiency and poorer interactive experience. Graphics processing units (GPUs) are powerful tools in data parallel processing but lie idle most of the time. In this study, we propose an approach to improve the performance of vector data rendering by using the parallel computing capability of many‐core GPUs. Vertex transformation, largely a mathematical calculation that does not require communication with the host storage device, is a time‐consuming procedure because all coordinates of each vector feature need to be transformed to screen vertices. Use of a GPU enables optimization of a general‐purpose mathematical calculation, enabling the procedure to be executed in parallel on a many‐core GPU and optimized effectively. This study mainly focuses on: (1) an organization and storage strategy for vector data based on equal pitch alignment, which can adapt to the GPU's calculating characteristics; (2) a paging‐coalescing transfer and memory access strategy for vector data between the CPU and the GPU; and (3) a balancing allocation strategy to take full advantage of all processing cores of the GPU. Experimental results demonstrate that the approach proposed can significantly improve the efficiency of vector data rendering.