Qualitative Spatial Representation for Information Retrieval by Gazetteers

  • C. Schlieder
  • T. Vögele
  • U. Visser
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2205)


Intelligent and efficient information retrieval becomes increasingly important. Analogous to thesauri in the realm of spatial concepts, gazetteers offer a controlled vocabulary that can be used for spatial queries. Gazetteers use geographic footprints to link place names to geographic locations. Which geographic footprint representation is chosen has a strong impact on the quality of spatial queries. However, the footprint representations currently used in standard gazetteers such as points, lines, grid cell representations, and bounding boxes do not offer enough topological information to support refined spatial queries. We propose a new type of spatial footprint that can be described as a qualitative representation of the spatial decomposition of geographic entities. It holds enough topological and ordinal information enable refined spatial queries without being subject to the constraints of exact polygon representations. The proposed spatial representation was developed to be combined with terminological reasoning techniques used in systems for intelligent information integration.


Spatial Reasoning Gazetteers Information Retrieval and Inference Semantic Interoperability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Schlieder
    • 1
  • T. Vögele
    • 1
  • U. Visser
    • 1
  1. 1.TZI - Center for Computing TechnologiesUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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