Geographic information retrieval

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Geographic information retrieval (GIR) or geographical information retrieval is the augmentation of information retrieval with geographic metadata.

Information retrieval generally views documents as a collection or `bag' of words. In contrast, geographic information retrieval requires a small amount of semantic data to be present (namely a location or geographic feature associated with a document). Because of this it is common in GIR to separate the text indexing and analysis from the geographic indexing.

GIR systems can commonly be broken down into the following stages: GeoTagging, text and Geographic indexing, data storage, geographic relevance ranking (wrt a geographic query) and browsing results (commonly with a map interface).

GIR systems[edit]

GIR involves extracting and resolving the meaning of locations in unstructured text. This is known as Geoparsing.

After identifying location references in text, a GIR system must index this information for search and retrieval.


In 2005 the Cross-Language Evaluation Forum added a geographic track: GeoCLEF. GeoCLEF was the first TREC style evaluation forum for GIR systems and provided participants a chance to compare systems.

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