Constructing Place Representations from Human-Generated Descriptions in Hebrew

Tal Bauman, Itzhak Omer, Sagi Dalyot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Space is a natural and indispensable part of the human communication form, mostly based on natural-spatial descriptions with varying lexical structures that rely on human spatial cognition and perception. This is a “geographic language” which machines do not understand, and accordingly do not properly process. Consequently, geographic information retrieval is limited due to the lack of rich and comprehensive textual-geographical databases required, for example, for spatio-query processes. While in English there exists a relatively rich set of libraries and tools, in Hebrew there is a void, with no automatic tools for addressing this problem. We propose a methodology that mimics human literal place descriptions, utilizing implicit geometries and topologies existing in geospatial databases. This study focuses on the first stage, which includes collecting a lingual dataset of human place descriptions with an online survey. Using Hebrew Natural Language Processes, place entities and their spatial relations were extracted from the survey descriptions. Similar place entities and relations were simultaneously extracted from OpenStreetMap database. Through place queries that rely on textual phrases from these two sources, human descriptions of places were geolocated. Finally, these locations were compared to retrieved locations acquired through Google maps API on survey descriptions - showing very promising results in accurately locating the described places.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWeb and Wireless Geographical Information Systems - 19th International Symposium, W2GIS 2022, Proceedings
EditorsFarid Karimipour, Sabine Storandt
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783031062445
StatePublished - 2022
Event19th International Symposium on Web and Wireless Geographical Information Systems, W2GIS 2022 - Konstanz, Germany
Duration: 28 Apr 202229 Apr 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13238 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference19th International Symposium on Web and Wireless Geographical Information Systems, W2GIS 2022


  • Geographic information retrieval
  • Hebrew
  • Human spatial cognition
  • Natural language processing


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