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Open AccessArticle

Spatiotemporal Information Extraction from a Historic Expedition Gazetteer

Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7700, South Africa
Department of Geo-Information Processing (GIP), Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, 7514 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Regional Integrity Management Systems, ROSEN Europe B.V., 7575 EJ Oldenzaal, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5(12), 221;
Received: 17 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
PDF [7656 KB, uploaded 29 November 2016]


Historic expeditions are events that are flavored by exploratory, scientific, military or geographic characteristics. Such events are often documented in literature, journey notes or personal diaries. A typical historic expedition involves multiple site visits and their descriptions contain spatiotemporal and attributive contexts. Expeditions involve movements in space that can be represented by triplet features (location, time and description). However, such features are implicit and innate parts of textual documents. Extracting the geospatial information from these documents requires understanding the contextualized entities in the text. To this end, we developed a semi-automated framework that has multiple Information Retrieval and Natural Language Processing components to extract the spatiotemporal information from a two-volume historic expedition gazetteer. Our framework has three basic components, namely, the Text Preprocessor, the Gazetteer Processing Machine and the JAPE (Java Annotation Pattern Engine) Transducer. We used the Brazilian Ornithological Gazetteer as an experimental dataset and extracted the spatial and temporal entities from entries that refer to three expeditioners’ site visits (which took place between 1910 and 1926) and mapped the trajectory of each expedition using the extracted information. Finally, one of the mapped trajectories was manually compared with a historical reference map of that expedition to assess the reliability of our framework. View Full-Text
Keywords: Geographic Information Retrieval; Temporal Information Retrieval; Natural Language Processing; temporal inference Geographic Information Retrieval; Temporal Information Retrieval; Natural Language Processing; temporal inference

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Bekele, M.K.; De By, R.A.; Singh, G. Spatiotemporal Information Extraction from a Historic Expedition Gazetteer. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 221.

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