Toponym Resolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In Geographic Information Systems, toponym resolution is the process of mapping between a toponym, i.e. the name of a place and an unambiguous spatial footprint of the same place.[1]

The same geographic names have historically been used by emigrant settlers to denote their new homes, leading to referential ambiguity of place names. Sometimes, the original name gets modified (as in "York" vs. "New York"). In many cases, a name is reused without modification ("Boston" in England, UK vs. "Boston" in Massachusetts, USA). To map a set of place names or toponyms that occur in a document to their corresponding latitude/longitude coordinates, a polygon, or any other spatial footprint, a disambiguation step is necessary. A toponym resolution algorithm is an automatic method that performs a mapping from a toponym to a spatial footprint.

In a computer system based on natural language processing, toponym resolution is typically carried out after toponym recognition, the identification of place names in a document or the more general process of named entity recognition, the identification and classification of a set of types of proper names in a documents, taking into account the internal linguistic structure of the name as well as contextual evidence.

Most methods for toponym resolution employ a gazetteer of possible mappings between names and spatial footprints.[2]

In contrast to geocoding of postal addresses, which are typically stored in structured database records, toponym resolution is typically applied to large unstructured text document collections to associate the locations mentioned in them with maps.


  1. ^ Leidner, Jochen L. Toponym Resolution in Text. 2007. Ph.D. thesis, University of Edinburgh.
  2. ^ Hill, Linda L. 2006. Georeferencing. The Geographic Associations of Information. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA.

See also[edit]