Geographic information retrieval
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Geographic information retrieval (GIR) or geographical information retrieval is the augmentation of information retrieval with geographic information. GIR aims at solving textual queries that include a geographic dimension, such as "What wars were fought in Greece?" or "restaurants in Beirut". It is common in GIR to separate the text indexing and analysis from the geographic indexing. Semantic similarity and word-sense disambiguation are important components of GIR. To identify place names, GIR often relies on gazetteers.
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. GIR systems can commonly be broken down into the following stages: GeoTagging, text and geographic indexing, data storage, geographic relevance ranking (with respect to a geographic query) and browsing results (commonly with a map interface).
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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