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Extraction of map objects such roads, rivers and buildings from high resolution satellite imagery is an important task in many civilian and military applications. We present a semi-automatic approach for road detection that achieves high accuracy and efficiency. This method exploits the properties of road segments to develop customized operators to accurately derive the road segments. The customized operators include directional morphological enhancement, directional segmentation and thinning. We have systematically evaluated the algorithm on a variety of images from IKONOS, QuickBird, CARTOSAT-2A satellites and carefully compared it with the techniques presented in literature. The results demonstrate that the algorithm proposed is both accurate and efficient.