From spatial representation to processes, relational networks, and thematic roles in geographic information retrieval


Geographic information retrieval (GIR) has largely been synonymous with spatial information retrieval. However, geographic information in text is not always explicitly, nor even implicitly, spatial, and when people are seeking geographic information, it is not exclusively for the purpose of spatial analysis or understanding. Here we argue that GIR research is artificially limited by a focus on static spatial representation and we could expand GIR’s domain of interest to include organization of information that is non-spatial. Specifically, we highlight three areas worth further study: 1) information about geographic processes and change in text, 2) geographic information where relational context is more important than spatial context, and 3) geographic entities referenced in text that take on thematic (non-spatial) roles.

12th Workshop on Geographic Information Retrieval