Title: Geographic Information Retrieval Tutorial


Url: http://www.geo.uzh.ch/~rsp/girt/index.html


Geographic Information Retrieval is a hot topic. The realisation that much geographic information is locked in unstructured textual documents has led to much research from the GIScience, Computer Science and Information Science communities. Thus, projects seek to analyse current and historic newspapers, social media and, increasingly, official documents which are being made openly available. Typically geographic information is implicit rather than explicit in such unstructured text. In parallel, methods based around notions of a semantic web which attempts to explicitly encapsulate geographic and other information contained in documents have also been developed, and links between the two areas of research, for example in the development of geographic ontologies, have started to form. However, the field is a relatively young one, and to date has not fully demonstrated its potential. Thus, for example, the GEO-CLEF workshops, which sought to compare GIR systems to standard IR methods for multilingual geographic queries showed limited advantages from the use of more spatial approaches, though arguably the queries defined were of too coarse granularity for geographic context to play a significant role.

One reason for these shortcomings may lie in the nature of this field – researchers involved come from very different backgrounds, with a limited common language, and equally limited understandings of differences in perspective. The Geographic Information Retrieval Tutorial at AGILE will seek to capitalise on the strong roots of the GIR community in Europe, by bringing together a set of active academics in the field to deliver a tutorial aimed at all of those interested in the area from (both) GIScience, Computer Science and Information Science. The key goals will thus be to:

  • Deliver a high quality tutorial covering key concepts in GIR;
  • Expose a group of young and more experienced researchers to state of the art research in GIR;
  • Contribute to the development of a shared agenda for research in GIR in Europe

Workshop length and format
The workshop will run over 1 day. It will open with a talk on a state of the art GIR project, before a brief discussion of a shared vocabulary for the day.
It will then take the form of a tutorial, focussing on going into depth on 4 topics:

  • Automatic toponym resolution in text and footprint computation
  • Spatial and temporal indices for GIR
  • Ranking in GIR
  • Evaluation strategies for geographic search

Each tutorial session will be designed to last approximately 1.25 hours, with a closing panel discussion of 1 hour.



● Workshop date: april, 24th,. 2012