Many web documents refer to specific geographic localities and many people include geographic context in queries to web search engines. Standard web search engines treat the geographical terms in the same way as other terms. This can result in failure to find relevant documents that refer to the place of interest using alternative related names, such as those of included or nearby places. This can be overcome by associating text indexing with spatial indexing methods that exploit geo-tagging procedures to categorise documents with respect to geographic space. We describe three methods for spatio-textual indexing based on multiple spatially indexed text indexes, attaching spatial indexes to the document occurrences of a text index, and merging text index access results with results of access to a spatial index of documents. These schemes are compared experimentally with a conventional text index search engine, using a collection of geo-tagged web documents, and are shown to be able to compete in speed and storage performance with pure text indexing.
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