Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2011

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Kathleen Stewart

First Committee Member

David Bennett

Second Committee Member

Marc Armstrong


Web documents such as news articles, social feeds, and blogs provide an abundant and readily available data source of spatial information relating to dynamic events such as wildfires, storms, and chemical spills. Research in the fields of geographic information retrieval and natural language processing use methods to extract place-names from web documents that can be used to geocode these events. However much of the spatial information in these articles are difficult to use because of the inherent vagueness of natural language. This thesis aims to develop methods to handle the vaguness of representing natural language descriptions of events by integrating precise spatial information (landmarks and geographic coordinates) with imprecise spatial information to provide a map-based visualization of the likely spatial extent and location of web document events.


events, GIR, GIS, natural language, vague


x, 84 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 78-84).


Copyright 2011 Nathaniel Robert Rock

Included in

Geography Commons