Web service technologies can be used to establish an interoperable framework between different generalisation systems. In a previous article three categories of
generalisation web services were identified, including support services, operator services and processing services. This paper focuses on the category of support
services. In a service-based generalisation system, the purpose of support services is to assist the generalisation process by providing auxiliary measures, procedures
and data structures that allow the representation of structural cartographic knowledge. The structural knowledge of the spatial and semantic context and the modelling of structural and spatial relationships is critical for the understanding of the role of cartographic features and thus for automated generalisation. Support services should extract and model this knowledge from the raw data and make it available to other generalisation operators. On the one hand the structural knowledge can be expressed by enriching map features with additional geometries or attributes. On the other hand, there exist various hierarchical and nonhierarchical relationships between map features, many of which can be represented by graph data structures. After a brief introduction to the interoperable web service
framework, this paper proposes a taxonomy of generalisation support services and discusses its elements. It is then shown how the complex output of such services can be represented for use with web services and stored in a reusable fashion. Finally, the utilisation of support services is illustrated on four implementation examples of
support services that also highlight the interactions with the generalisation operators that use these auxiliary services.