Leveraging advances in natural language processing to better understand tobler's first law of geography

Toby Jia Jun Li, Shilad Sen, Brent Hecht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tobler's First Law of Geography (TFL) is one of the key reasons why "spatial is special". The law, which states that "everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things", is central to the management, presentation, and analysis of geographic information. However, despite the importance of TFL, we have a limited general understanding of its domain-neutral properties. In this paper, we leverage recent advances in the natural language processing domain of semantic relatedness estimation to, for the first time, robustly evaluate the extent to which relatedness between spatial entities decreases over distance in a domain-neutral fashion. Our results reveal that, in general, TFL can indeed be considered a globally recognized domain-neutral property of geographic information but that there is a distance beyond which being nearer, on average, no longer means being more related.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication22nd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2014
EditorsMarkus Schneider, Michael Gertz, Yan Huang, Jagan Sankaranarayanan, John Krumm
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages513-516
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450331319
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2014
Event22nd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2014 - Dallas, United States
Duration: Nov 4 2014Nov 7 2014

Publication series

NameGIS: Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Advances in Geographic Information Systems
Volume04-07-November-2014

Other

Other22nd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2014
CountryUnited States
CityDallas
Period11/4/1411/7/14

Keywords

  • Distance
  • Semantic relatedness
  • Tobler's First Law of Geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Information Systems

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  • Cite this

    Li, T. J. J., Sen, S., & Hecht, B. (2014). Leveraging advances in natural language processing to better understand tobler's first law of geography. In M. Schneider, M. Gertz, Y. Huang, J. Sankaranarayanan, & J. Krumm (Eds.), 22nd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2014 (pp. 513-516). (GIS: Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Advances in Geographic Information Systems; Vol. 04-07-November-2014). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2666310.2666493