The medial axis transform (MAT) of a shape, better known as its skeleton, is frequently used in shape analysis and related areas. In this paper a new approach for determining the skeleton of an object, is presented. The boundary is segmented at points of maximal positive curvature and a distance map from each of the segments is calculated. The skeleton is then located by applying simple rules to the zero sets of distance maps differences. A framework is proposed for numerical approximation of distance maps that is consistent with the continuous case, hence does not suffer from digitization bias due to metrication errors of the implementation on the grid. Subpixel accuracy in distance map calculation is obtained by using gray level information along the boundary of the shape in the numerical scheme. The accuracy of the resulting efficient skeletonization algorithm is demonstrated by several examples.