Is this statement about a place? Comparing two perspectives

Alan M. MacEachren, Richard Caneba, Hanzhou Chen, Harrison Cole, Emily Domanico, Nicholas Triozzi, Fangcao Xu, Liping Yang

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


Text often includes references to places by name; in prior work, more than 20% of a sample of event-related tweets were found to include place names. Research has addressed the challenge of leveraging the geographic data reflected in text statements, with well-developed methods to recognize location mentions in text and related work on automated toponym resolution (deciding which place in the world is meant by a place name). A core issue that remains is to distinguish between text that mentions a place or places and text that is about a place or places. This paper presents the first step in research to address this challenge. The research reported here sets the conceptual and practical groundwork for subsequent supervised machine learning research; that research will leverage human-produced training data, for which a judgment is made about whether a statement is or is not about a place (or places), to train computational methods to do this classification for large volumes of text. The research step presented here focuses on three questions: (1) what kinds of entities are typically conceptualized as places, (2) what features of a statement prompt the reader to judge a statement to be about a place (or not about a place) and (3) how do judgments of whether or not a statement is about a place compare between a group of experts who have studied the concept of "place" from a geographic perspective and a cross-section of individuals recruited through a crowdsourcing platform to make these judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication10th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2018
EditorsAmy L. Griffin, Stephan Winter, Monika Sester
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Print)9783959770835
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Event10th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2018 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: Aug 28 2018Aug 31 2018

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Other10th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


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