Automatic Pipeline Route Design with Multi-Criteria Evaluation Based on Least-Cost Path Analysis and Line-Based Cartographic Simplification: A Case Study of the Mus Project in Turkey

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Durmaz A. I., Unal E. O., AYDIN C. C.

ISPRS INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GEO-INFORMATION, vol.8, no.4, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/ijgi8040173
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: route design, GIS, least cost path analysis, simplification, topographic classification, ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS, DECISION-MAKING, NATURAL-GAS, GIS, AHP, LOCATION
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The design of a natural gas pipeline route is a very important stage in Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline projects. It is a very complicated process requiring many different criteria for various areas to be evaluated simultaneously. These criteria include geographical, social, economic, and environmental aspects with their obstacles. In the classical approach, the optimum route design is usually determined manually with gathering the spatial references for suitable places and obstructions from the ground. This traditional method is not effective because it does not consider all the factors that affect the route of the pipeline. Today, the powerful tools incorporated in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can be used to automatically determine the optimum route. An automatic pipeline route finder algorithm can calculate the best convenient route avoiding geographic and topological obstructs and selecting suitable places depending on their weights. In this study, an automatic natural gas pipeline design study was carried out in the east western region of Turkey. At the end of the study, an automatic natural gas pipeline route was determined using GIS and a least cost path algorithm, and an alternative study was conducted using a traditional method. In addition, a cartographic line simplification process with a point removal algorithm was used to eliminate the high vertex points and a simplified route was determined. The results were compared with the results of a finished Mu natural gas project constructed by The Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) and the negative and positive effects were evaluated. It was concluded that the use of GIS capabilities and the lowest cost path distance algorithm resulted in a 20% reduction of the cost through the simplification.