Text vs. space: Efficient geo-search query processing

Maria Christoforaki, Jinru He, Constantinos Dimopoulos, Alexander Markowetz, Torsten Suel

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


    Many web search services allow users to constrain text queries to a geographic location (e.g., yoga classes near Santa Monica). Important examples include local search engines such as Google Local and location-based search services for smart phones. Several research groups have studied the efficient execution of queries mixing text and geography; their approaches usually combine inverted lists with a spatial access method such as an R-tree or space-filling curve. In this paper, we take a fresh look at this problem. We feel that previous work has often focused on the spatial aspect at the expense of performance considerations in text processing, such as inverted index access, compression, and caching. We describe new and existing approaches and discuss their different perspectives. We then compare their performance in extensive experiments on large document collections. Our results indicate that a query processor that combines state-of-the-art text processing techniques with a simple coarse-grained spatial structure can outperform existing approaches by up to two orders of magnitude. In fact, even a naive approach that first uses a simple inverted index and then filters out any documents outside the query range outperforms many previous methods.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationCIKM'11 - Proceedings of the 2011 ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 2011
    Event20th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM'11 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: Oct 24 2011Oct 28 2011

    Publication series

    NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings


    Other20th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM'11
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • efficient query processing
    • geographic web search engines

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Decision Sciences
    • General Business, Management and Accounting


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