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Modelling vague places with knowledge from the Web


Jones, Christopher B; Purves, Ross S; Clough, Paul D; Joho, Hideo (2008). Modelling vague places with knowledge from the Web. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 22(10):1045-1065.

Abstract

Place names are often used to describe and to enquire about geographical information.
It is common for users to employ vernacular names that have vague spatial extent and which do not correspond to the official and administrative place name terminology
recorded within typical gazetteers. There is a need therefore to enrich gazetteers with knowledge of such vague places and hence improve the quality of place name-based
information retrieval. Here we describe a method for modelling vague places using knowledge harvested from web pages. It is found that vague place names are frequently
accompanied in text by the names of more precise co-located places that lie within the extent of the target vague place. Density surface modelling of the frequency of co-
occurrence of such names provides an effective method of representing the inherent uncertainty of the extent of the vague place while also enabling approximate crisp
boundaries to be derived from contours if required. The method is evaluated using both precise and vague places. The use of the resulting approximate boundaries is
demonstrated using an experimental geographical search engine.

Abstract

Place names are often used to describe and to enquire about geographical information.
It is common for users to employ vernacular names that have vague spatial extent and which do not correspond to the official and administrative place name terminology
recorded within typical gazetteers. There is a need therefore to enrich gazetteers with knowledge of such vague places and hence improve the quality of place name-based
information retrieval. Here we describe a method for modelling vague places using knowledge harvested from web pages. It is found that vague place names are frequently
accompanied in text by the names of more precise co-located places that lie within the extent of the target vague place. Density surface modelling of the frequency of co-
occurrence of such names provides an effective method of representing the inherent uncertainty of the extent of the vague place while also enabling approximate crisp
boundaries to be derived from contours if required. The method is evaluated using both precise and vague places. The use of the resulting approximate boundaries is
demonstrated using an experimental geographical search engine.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:19 Jan 2009 11:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:39
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1365-8816
Additional Information:This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 2008, 22(10), 1045-1065. The International Journal of Geographical Information Science is available online at www.informaworld.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13658810701850547

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