Qualitative spatial representation for information retrieval by gazetteers

C. Schlieder, T. Vögele, U. Visser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

27 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpatial Information Theory
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations of Geographic Information Science - International Conference, COSIT 2001, Proceedings
EditorsDaniel R. Montello
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)3540426132, 9783540426134
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event5th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2001 - Morro Bay, United States
Duration: Sep 19 2001Sep 23 2001

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other5th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMorro Bay


  • Gazetteers
  • Information retrieval and inference
  • Semantic interoperability
  • Spatial reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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