Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

With some success, I've been generalising and cleaning Ordnance Survey OpenData VectorMap District woodland polygon shapefiles to make them fit for mid-scale mapping.

However, the resulting shapefiles contain small 'tails' that I wish to eliminate. I've put black dots next to some of these on the attached picture. The problem is that the 'tails' are actually part of the larger polygons, so I can't get rid of them using (for example) GRASS v.clean rmarea. If anyone can help with this problem I'd be grateful for suggestions.

A sample shapefile (cleaned.shp) is included in this zip archive.


enter image description here

share|improve this question
I guess you also already tried the v.clean option rmsa (remove small angles)? – Micha Sep 25 '12 at 10:46
Thanks for the reply Micha. But no, I can't make this work :( – nhopton Sep 25 '12 at 15:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could try bufferring the polygons by -15m, dissolve, and buffer by a 15m.

share|improve this answer
But of course, many thanks! I should have thought of this myself, adding 10 metre buffers and then removing them was how I generalised the source data in the first place. N. – nhopton Sep 26 '12 at 7:43

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.