ACM SIGSPATIAL Workshop on Computational Models of Place 2013

at ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2013; 21st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, November 5-8, 2013 - Orlando, Florida, USA.

Workshop Description and Scope

Even though places are immensely useful referents for geocoding and interlinking other information, e.g. in terms of gazetteers, place related information often still needs to be generated, linked and curated in a manual and time consuming fashion. This problem has become increasingly pressing in the age of Big Data, where the generation, provenance, curation and quality of place related data becomes uncontrollable and does not scale with the growth of other data in need of georeferencing.

This workshop aims at computational models of place which can be used to automate the process of place information inference. Computational models of place have to deal with a variety of conceptual as well as computational challenges. From a conceptual viewpoint, places are not point-like, they are vaguely determined by physical, cultural, and experiential processes, in particular by human activities. Furthermore, the location occupied by places, such as city centers, can change over time. This renders simplistic place models, which are mainly based on static name-coordinate pairs, insufficient. Gazetteer relations should be temporally indexed, but how should this be done? How to address changes of place identity, such as disappearances and merging or splits? How can we compute a snapshot representing the region occupied by a place at a certain time? From a computational viewpoint, the challenge lies in finding tractable procedures to infer places as well as their relations to other kinds of information. We are especially interested in research that demonstrates this in the context of Linked Data.

One way to create computational place models is by extracting knowledge from user-generated data and streams, such as tags, texts, activity streams, trajectories and POI mapping. Recent research focused on the discovery of places and user activities by mining (semantic) trajectories. Research also investigated how to derive the region occupied by a place, or to extract place-related activities from free text. An alternative option is to compute places based on social tagging. Here, one challenge lies in identifying social relations which allow associating tags of the same place, as well as distinguishing tags of different places. Another approach consists in identifying observation procedures and observable proxies in an environment. Such proxies may be perception-action cycles that can be traced by observed or recorded actions. One promising direction of further research are affordance-based approaches towards place. Finally, one more option is to use robots, sensors and actuators, as well as spatial reasoning in order to explore place extents.

Novel research is also needed in order to design place-based GIS operations. Considering place as a fundamental element for organizing space may require a very different set of spatial operators. Places are hierarchically organized objects. Nearness may be computed as the situation-dependent reachability between two places. The challenge lies in transforming traditional GIS operations, such as spatial queries (buffers, region-based queries), in order to deal with place.

Workshop Topics

Topics of interest for the workshop include but are not limited to:

Workshop Format, Submissions, and Proceedings

The workshop will be dedicated to short presentations of new computational approaches to place inference. The workshop will accept two kinds of contributions, full research papers presenting new work in the indicated areas, as well as statements of interest. While the research papers will be selected based on the review results adhering to classical scientific quality criteria, the statements of interest should raise questions, present visions, and point to the open gaps. However, statements of interest will also be reviewed to ensure quality and clarity of the presented ideas. Following short presentations of the accepted submissions, there will be a panel discussion about place inference. Base on the results of the workshop, we will organize an open-call journal special issue call on computational models of place in an international journal.

All presented papers will be made available through the workshop web page and the electronic conference proceedings of ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2013. Full research papers should be approximately 6-8 pages, while statements of interest should be between 2-4 pages.

One author per accepted workshop paper is required to register for both the main SIGSPATIAL conference and the workshop, to attend the workshop, and to present the accepted paper in the workshop. Otherwise, the accepted paper will not appear in the workshop proceedings or in the ACM Digital Library version of the workshop proceedings.

Submissions shall be made through easychair at by August 28th, 2013.

Important Dates

Submission due: September 12, 2013

Acceptance Notification: September 29, 2013

Camera-ready Copies: October 6, 2013

Workshop date: November 5, 2013


07:00-08:00 Breakfast

08:30-09:00 Welcome and Introduction - Foreword

09:00-10:30 Session 1: Place identification and localization (chair: Krzysztof Janowicz)

Identification of structural landmarks in a park using movement data collected in a location-based game (full paper)
Klaas Jordan, Iaroslav Sheptykin, Barbara Grueter and Heide-Rose Vatterrott

Extracting semantics of individual places from movement data by analyzing temporal patterns of visits (full paper)
Gennady Andrienko, Natalia Andrienko, Georg Fuchs, Ana-Maria Olteanu Raimond, Juergen Symanzik and Cezary Ziemlicki

Semantic place localization from narratives (statement of interest)
Simon Scheider and Ross Purves

A framework for discriminative polygonal place scoping (full paper)
Christoph F. Eick, Fatih Akdag, Paul Amalaman and Aditya Tadakaluru

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-11:45 keynote: Your Place or Mine: Modelling the Multiple Facets of Geographic Place
Chris Jones (University of Cardiff)

11:45-12:30 Session 1 (ctd): Place identification and localization (chair: Maria Vasardani)

Identifying spatial structure of urban functional centers using travel survey data: a case study of Singapore (full paper)
Chen Zhong, Xianfeng Huang, Stefan Mueller Arisona and Gerhard Schmitt

A method of area of interest and shooting spot detection using geo-tagged photographs (full paper)
Motohiro Shirai, Masaharu Hirota, Hiroshi Ishikawa and Shohei Yokoyama

12:30-14:00 Lunch (lunch is not provided)

14:00-15:30 Session 2: Place models and place descriptions (chair: Benjamin Adams)

Towards platial joins and buffers in place-based GIS (full paper)
Song Gao, Krzysztof Janowicz, Grant Mckenzie and Linna Li

A rule-based genetic algorithm for mapping route descriptions towards map representations (statement of interest)
Lamia Belouaer, David Brosset and Christophe Claramunt

A comparison of string similarity measures for toponym matching (full paper)
Gabriel Recchia and Max Louwerse

Extracting spatial information from place descriptions (full paper)
Arbaz Khan, Maria Vasardani and Stephan Winter

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-17:00 Interactive session about computational place models

17:15-17:45 Capstone session together with GIR workshop


(main organizer followed by alphabetic order)

Programme Committee


Please feel free to contact the organizers for further questions at jano @ geog . ucsb. edu.