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Spatially-Aware

Information Retrieval

on the Internet

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What is SPIRIT?

Many resources on the Internet refer to somewhere on Earth, but web search technology is poorly equipped to find information relating to geographical location. The aim of the SPIRIT project is to overcome this by designing and implementing a spatially-aware search engine that finds documents and datasets relating exactly or approximately to places or regions referred to in a query.
The Challenge
The problem of improving access to Internet resources relating to specific places is to be addressed from two major standpoints. The first is that of developing a spatially-aware search engine displaying knowledge of the structure and terminology of geographical space and application-specific concepts. The second is that of automatic semantic annotation of Internet resources with metadata on the geographical context of resource content.
Milestones

A geographical ontology will enable expansion of query terms to include alternative names and places that are nearby.

A multi-modal user interface will allow the description of places using text or an interactive multi-scale map.

The resources returned will be relevance-ranked with regard to geographical and thematic space and displayed both in textual and map form.

 

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