There is a significant commercial and research interest in location-based web search engines. Given a number of search keywords and one or more locations (geographical points) that a user is interested in, a location-based web search retrieves and ranks the most textually and spatially relevant web pages. In this type of search, both the spatial and textual information should be indexed. Currently, no efficient index structure exists that can handle both the spatial and textual aspects of data simultaneously and accurately. Existing approaches either index space and text separately or use inefficient hybrid index structures with poor performance and inaccurate results. Moreover, most of these approaches cannot accurately rank web-pages based on a combination of space and text and are not easy to integrate into existing search engines. In this paper, we propose a new index structure called Spatial-Keyword Inverted File for Points to handle point-based indexing of web documents in an integrated/efficient manner. To seamlessly find and rank relevant documents, we develop a new distance measure called spatial tf-idf. We propose four variants of spatial-keyword relevance scores and two algorithms to perform top-k searches. As verified by experiments, our proposed techniques outperform existing index structures in terms of search performance and accuracy.
Geographical search Spatial databases Indexing Ranking Query processing Information retrieval