Skeletonization of polygons is a technique, which is often applied to problems of cartography and geographic information science. Especially it is needed for generalization tasks such as the collapse of small or narrow areas, which are negligible for a certain scale. Different skeleton operators can be used for such tasks. One of them is the straight skeleton, which was rediscovered by computer scientists several years ago after decades of neglect. Its full range of practicability and its benefits for cartographic applications have not been revealed yet. Based on the straight skeleton an area collapse that preserves topological constraints as well as a partial area collapse can be performed. An automatic method for the derivation of road centerlines from a cadastral dataset, which uses special characteristics of the straight skeleton, is shown.