Reconstructing Paths of Travel Based on Location References in Unstructured Text



Cave, April

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The process of providing spatial context for location information within text has been explored by researchers in the domains of geographic information retrieval (GIR), geosocial media analysis, computational linguistics, and the digital humanities. This thesis will explore the topic of geographic information retrieval from text, using the stories of Jules Verne, which are fictional, but set in the real world. Just as location references, including place names and points of interest, within the text of Verne’s stories can be geoparsed and geocoded to be placed on a map and visualize the journey, so can location references within the text of intelligence gathered by the intelligence community and law enforcement. Once location references are extracted, they can be verified using outside sources and, by considering their spatial, temporal and thematic relevance, their significance determined. All verified, relevant locations can be placed on a map. This information can then be used to reconstruct the movement of a person of interest. The methods in this thesis are used to document the positions of a subject through travels eastward across three continents.



Unstructured text, Geoconstructing movement, GeoINT, Path reconstruction