The semantics of place-related questions


  • Werner Kuhn University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Ehsan Hamzei The University of Melbourne
  • Martin Tomko The University of Melbourne
  • Stephan Winter The University of Melbourne
  • Haonan Li The University of Melbourne



question-answering system, place-based information, core concepts of spatial information


The trend to equip information systems with question-answering capabilities raises the design problem of deciding which questions a system should be able to answer. Typical solutions build on mining human conversations or logs from similar systems for question patterns. For the case of questions about geographic places, we present a complementary approach, showing how to derive possible questions from an ontology of spatial information and a classification of place facets. We argue that such an approach reduces the inherent and substantial data bias of current solutions. At a more general level, we provide a novel understanding of spatial questions and their role in designing and using spatial information systems.




2021-12-24 — Updated on 2022-01-05