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Contours and junctions are important cues for perceptual organization and shape recognition. Detecting junctions locally has proved problematic because the image intensity surface is confusing in the neighborhood of a junction. Edge detectors also do not perform well near junctions. Current leading approaches to junction detection, such as the Harris operator, are based on 2D variation in the intensity signal. However, a drawback of this strategy is that it confuses textured regions with junctions. We believe that the right approach to junction detection should take advantage of the contours that are incident at a junction; contours themselves can be detected by processes that use more global approaches. In this paper, we develop a new high-performance contour detector using a combination of local and global cues. This contour detector provides the best performance to date (F=0.70) on the Berkeley Segmentation Dataset (BSDS) benchmark. From the resulting contours, we detect and localize candidate junctions, taking into account both contour salience and geometric configuration. We show that improvements in our contour model lead to better junctions. Our contour and junction detectors both provide state of the art performance.