Place Questions and Human-Generated Answers: A Data Analysis Approach

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


This paper investigates place-related questions submitted to search systems and their human-generated answers. Place-based search is motivated by the need to identify places matching some criteria, to identify them in space or relative to other places, or to characterize the qualities of such places. Human place-related questions have thus far been insufficiently studied and differ strongly from typical keyword queries. They thus challenge today’s search engines providing only rudimentary geographic information retrieval support. We undertake an analysis of the patterns in place-based questions using a large-scale dataset of questions/answers, MS MARCO V2.1. The results of this study reveal patterns that can inform the design of conversational search systems and in-situ assistance systems, such as autonomous vehicles.


Geographic information retrieval Geographic questions Question answering systems Web search queries Query classification 



The support by the Australian Research Council grant DP170100109 is acknowledged.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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